Tag Archives: Truth

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” -Robin Williams

Forget about my 26 before 26 list! Here is my new and improved 30 before 30 list…

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  1. Read at least 30 books
  2. Learn to let go of the past
  3. Love myself again
  4. Go white water rafting
  5. Grow out my hair
  6. Reach and maintain a healthy weight
  7. Take a cooking class
  8. Finish and publish my book
  9. Fall in love with life
  10. Go backpacking for a week
  11. Revamp my personal style
  12. Forgive people who hurt me
  13. Do something that absolutely terrifies me
  14. Learn a new skill
  15. Get and keep a job I enjoy
  16. Visit a state or country I’ve never been to
  17. Let love happen
  18. Get a cat or dog
  19. Find God again
  20. Keep up with my blog
  21. Go to a concert
  22. Learn some sign language
  23. Find beauty in the mundane
  24. Get in touch with old friends
  25. Learn to enhance my beauty
  26. Meet with a chiroproctor
  27. Brighten someone’s day
  28. Learn yoga
  29. Follow Marie Kondo’s rules for tidying up
  30. Be positive, always.

If you made it all the way through my list, you probably have questions. Let me give you a little background on how and why I came up with these items, one by one.

  1. I’m sure many of you know by now that I love reading. I always have a goal to read a certain number of books in a certain amount of time. I never reach that goal. For example, for my 26 before 26 list, I had a goal of reading 26 books. Insane, right? 26 books in one year is a far reach for me and I know that. It was crazy to make that goal. You may think that 30 books before I’ 30 is a big goal as well, but I’m giving myself 5 years! I’m counting the books I already read this year, because why not. Just so you all know, I finished 7 books this year so far.
  2. Learning to let go of the past is something that we all need to do in life. Some of us realise early on that our past holds us back. For me, it took a long while. But I figured it out! Better late than never, right?
  3. Self love is vital. We can’t get far in life if we don’t love ourselves. I’ve been feeling down about myself, the way I look, everything. It’s unhealthy and I want it to end.
  4. White water rafting is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a teenager but never had the chance to do. I will be doing it in the next 4 years, though. No excuses.
  5. Growing out my hair kinda goes with self love. It makes me feel better about myself when I have long, healthy hair.
  6. My weight is my main source of low self-esteem. I don’t feel good when I look at myself in the mirror. I’m overweight and I know that. But I am ready to make a change.
  7. I want to take a cooking class because, well, why not? It’s something fun to do in the community.
  8. Finishing my book is something I’ve talked about for YEARS. And I do mean years. Maybe 5 years? Probably more. It’s high time I stopped saying it and just do it.
  9. I want to love my life. People say that there is nothing about life to love but oh are they wrong. I want to love the life I live. I don’t have to love what’s going on in the world but I do want to love what I do, say, feel, experience. I want to feel optimistic in all things.
  10. If you check out the Wilderness Girl tab, you know that I was supposed to go backpacking this past summer with my best friends in the whole world, Michaela. But I landed my job at Universal so that didn’t happen. Instead, We pushed it back. Well, it will happen and I can’t wait for it. Maybe this summer? Who knows!
  11. I have a personal style board on Pinterest of things I would love to wear but I hate shopping for clothes because I feel so ugly in so many things. I hate most of my wardrobe but I don’t want to but new things because I want to lose weight first. It’s a never ending cycle…or it was. I’m breaking that cycle this year!
  12. I have held on to pain for too long, I need to let it all go.
  13. We’re supposed to do something every day that scares us, right? Well, what about the things that absolutely terrify us? I’m doing that sometime in the next couple years.
  14. I want to learn a new skill, I’m not sure what that skill is yet but I want to learn it!
  15. I loved my job at Universal so much, unfortunately it just wasn’t in the cards to keep it. I am on the hunt for a job I enjoy just as much, if not more.
  16. Like most people, I love to travel. I want to visit a state, or country (Canada?) that I’ve never been to because why not?
  17. Let love happen. Don’t force it.
  18. I want a cat or dog so bad. I love them, I miss my cat Socks so much.
  19. Finding God again is one that may have thrown people off. This one I can’t really explain without going to personal and I just can’t do that today. In another blog post maybe. But not today.
  20. Keep up with my blog. I’ve said it time and time again. I’ve failed, time and time again. I am determined. I started off strong this year, though so I’m improving!
  21. I’ve gone to one concert, Raven Symone at the Fresno Fair. I want to go to a big concert, like Imagine Dragons or Taylor Swift.
  22. Sign language is a very powerful language. I want to learn so that I can comunicate with people who are hard of hearing.
  23. I think there is hidden beauty in everything and I intend to find it.
  24. Have you ever told someone that you’d keep in touch and then never do? Well, I have and I want to keep that. I am determined to keep in touch with them.
  25. Enhancing beauty isn’t all centered around makeup. It’s also about how you dress, how you carry yourself, everything.
  26. I have issues that I would like addressed by a chiropractor. It’s pretty self explanatory, I think.
  27. Who doesn’t want to brighten someone else’s day?
  28. I have friends who do yoga and I want to learn.
  29. I started the Marie Kondo rules but never finished because so much stuff was in storage. Then I just gave up.
  30. Always being positive is probably the hardest. I am trying, though. That’s why matters. I want to be an optimist not a pessimist.

If you have a 30 before 30 list, share with us below what you have. As always, thank you for visiting my blog. Until next time!

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“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only option you have left.” ―Ziad K. Abdelnour

A few days ago I went to the gynecologist only to come out with some shocking news. You never want to hear any statement that begins with “You have….” and continues on to say something that you have. Especially when it’s an incurable thing

I’ve always wondered if there was something there but someone always had an answer for my issues. I’ve wondered why I have never been menstruating regularly. “Oh, that’s normal.” Why did I started gaining weight so easily after puberty and haven’t been able to work it off, just gain more? “Oh, it’s just hormones.” I’ve wondered why so much of my hair comes out in the shower EVERY DAY. “Everyone sheds hair everyday.” Why was I suddenly suffering with depression? “Well, you have gone through a lot of trauma in your life.” Why do I grow hair where I shouldn’t? “Many women have facial hair, it’s pretty normal.” Why can I never fall asleep at night? “You’re not active enough during the day.”

Someone always had an answer to come back with for every question I ever asked so I eventually stopped asking. Until the other day. I didn’t ask the questions but I finally got the answer to them from her. “You have PCOS, you are the definition of it. How did no one talk to you about this before?”

I know what you are thinking, what on earth is PCOS? Well, it stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and it is the leading cause of female infertility. There are over 200,000 cases in the US alone! And many women go undiagnosed, like I was.

Here are a list of symptoms found on the official website for PCOS:

Women with PCOS typically have irregular or missed periods as a result of not ovulating. Although some women may develop cysts on their ovaries, many women do not.

Other symptoms include:

  • Weight gain. About half of women with PCOS will have weight gain and obesity that is difficult to manage.
  • Fatigue. Many women with PCOS report increased fatigue and low energy. Related issues such as poor sleep may contribute to the feeling of fatigue.
  • Unwanted hair growth (also known as hirsutism). Areas affected by excess hair growth may include the face, arms, back, chest, thumbs, toes, and abdomen. Hirsutism  related to PCOS is due to hormonal changes in androgens.
  • Thinning hair on the head. Hair loss related to PCOS may increase in middle age.
  • Infertility. PCOS is a leading cause of female infertility. However, not every woman with PCOS is the same. Although some women may need the assistance of fertility treatments, others are able to conceive naturally.
  • Acne. Hormonal changes related to androgens can lead to acne problems. Other skin changes such as the development of skin tags and darkened patches of skin are also related to PCOS.
  • Mood changes. Having PCOS can increase the likelihood of mood swings, depression, and anxiety.
  • Pelvic pain. Pelvic pain may occur with periods, along with heavy bleeding. It may also occur when a woman isn’t bleeding.
  • Headaches. Hormonal changes prompt headaches.
  • Sleep problems. Women with PCOS often report problems such as insomnia or poor sleep. There are many factors that can affect sleep, but PCOS has been linked to a sleep disorder called sleep apnea.  With sleep apnea, a person will stop breathing for short periods of time during sleep.

As you can see, symptoms of PCOS are not pleasant. But that is exactly why women’s health care is so important. We need to help people with incurable ailments, such as this, as well as curable ones.

Though it isn’t curable, there are treatment options. Of course, the number one treatment is being place on birth control to stabilize your menstrual cycle. Often times, women get placed on metformin as well to help with various symptoms. I have not been placed on either. There is a pill that a doctor can give you if you haven’t menstruated in the last 90 days to cause you to menstruate so your body can clean itself out. This is what I will be taking if need be.

I know celebrities are a big part of our society so here is a small list of famous women who has struggled with PCOS:

  • Jillian Michaels

  • Emma Thompson

  • Victoria Beckham

  • Rebecca Atkinson

  • Jools Oliver

  • Sasha Pieterse

There is an entire month devoted to PCOS awareness, September. I wish I had known sooner that way I could participate but now I know for next month. But until then, if you see a teal ribbon anywhere, it’s for PCOS.

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         As always, thank you for reading my post and I hope this has helped you understand PCOS and how it can affect you. If you think you might have it, talk to your doctor right away.

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“Distance not only gives nostalgia, but perspective, and maybe objectivity.” -Robert Morgan

Here is another throwback video post. I grew up watching some of these and I loved them. It was also saught after so, here you are! What was your favorite?

I hope that this brought back as many memories for you as it did for me. As always, thank you for visiting and I hope you have a great day!

“An anniversary is a time to celebrate the joys of today, the memories of yesterday, and the hopes of tomorrow.” -Unknown

My topic for today is MY 5TH ANNIVERSARY of having this blog. I am grateful for everyone who has stuck with me. I may not be the most consistent blogger or the most interesting but you have been here for me though it all. From my first post, “A smile happens in a flash, but its memory can last a lifetime” to my wedding plans and trips around the US. So much has happened in my life and I am glad I get to share it with you. I am grateful for those who have been with me the whole five years and for those who are just joining me in my adventures.

I just can’t believe that it really has been 5 years since I opened this account and began sharing my stories with the world. Literally, people from all over the world have viewed my blog, something I thought would never happen. I may not have millions of followers or be any sort of popular in the blogosphere but I am here and I am happy.

I hope you all keep coming back and enjoying my content. And for now, enjoy this amazing song that came to my mind.

“Have no fear These are nowhere near The best years of your life” -Brad Paisley

Dear 16-year-old Carra,

16          Your life will change in the next year and I know it will be hard. Just remember that there are people who love you and are here for you. You will be able to grow and learn so much because you will be getting out of your comfort zone. You’ll lose people you love, you’ll move twice in one year, and you’ll grow closer to Heavenly Father.
When given the opportunity to go see Mountain Grove High School, you’ll do it, you’ll meet the counselor and come out of the meeting ready to move. Actually ask questions this time, don’t be afraid. It’ll be exciting but sad. Leaving your friends will be hard, it is worth it.
See your mom before you move. It’ll eat at you if you don’t. She wanted to say 16 3goodbye but you left before she could. Also, spend more time packing and less time playing. You’ll have a week to pack all of your stuff. Make sure you put Whoonu in a safe spot so you don’t lose it because if you don’t you’ll find out it’s $60 when you’re looking into buying it again.
There will be many boys interested in you, say no to all of them. I mean it, all of them. Don’t even text Casey after Christmas, you’ll thank me later. Boys are no good and you deserve better than all of them. Having Dakota as a friend is enough, he’s a nice guy. But seriously, do not date any of them.
16 1          Don’t give your friend Megan money because you’ll never get it back. Also, don’t spend your first week not eating and hiding in the bathroom at lunchtime. Make friends.You will become really good friends with the girl who you have almost every class with, her name is Shelby. She’ll introduce you to people and you’ll become “popular” because everyone in your grade knows you.
When your English class gets into a discussion about Mormons, don’t be afraid to turn it into a teaching moment. Straightening out the lies will help them in the long run. Tell Derek that chocolate doesn’t destroy your soul, tell Rachel that we are Christian, stun everyone because they had no idea there was a Mormon in the class. You can do it, don’t be shy.
Another thing to consider is your career project in Personal Finance. You’re 16 2thinking about doing it on OB GYN. Don’t. That’s not really what you want to be, you want to be a teacher or a writer. Don’t pick OB GYN just because it makes more money and it goes with what your classmates are doing. Be yourself Carra, it’s ok.
Finally, don’t yell at your grandparents. You’re going to miss them one day and all of those times you screamed and fought will flood your mind for a time. Try to see it from their point of view. Also, learn all you can from grandma, make it a point to cook with her. Ask her about her life. If you don’t, you’ll regret it later in life.
You are a very smart, beautiful, and caring young woman. Don’t let anyone change that or tell you different. Stay close to your family, spend time with them. Garden with grandma, play pool with grandpa. You’ll miss out on all of that if you don’t. They love you and I love you. Stay strong.

Sincerely,
25-year-old Carra

“Some family trees have beautiful leaves, and some have just a bunch of nuts. Remember, it is the nuts that make the tree worth shaking.” –Unknown

Learning about where we come from is something that many people are interested Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 1.19.10 PMin today. My grandma was greatly involved in family history and found links to trace our lineage pretty far back. I’ve always wanted to do the same but I get lost as to where to go from here. There is one person, in particular, who is even more lost than I am. That person is my wonderful father-in-law.

He has continuously expressed interest in family history and in finding his father, who ha had never met. My husband and I decided to start the process by purchasing Ancestry DNA kit. We were all very anxious to see what the results would be and if there would be any links to his father.

Several weeks after receiving the DNA sample, Ancestry emailed me to inform me that there had been a great number of samples sent in after the holidays and that they expected it to take more than the estimated 6-8 weeks.

Finally, I had an email waiting in my inbox stating that the results are ready for viewing. I tried very hard not to look at them because I wanted it to be a surprise for everyone. I shielded the results from my view, printed out the summary, then folded it and sealed it in an envelop.

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We were able to give my father-in-law the good news this past weekend and boy was it worth it. He was so ecstatic! He loved the results of where the DNA shows his lineage and he especially loved that there were so many DNA matches. The best part? His mom had taken a DNA test and we didn’t even know but she and his half-sister came up on his results. Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 1.19.59 PM

Some of you may be wondering, how do I do this? How much does it cost? Is it safe? To answer you, you order it online (there are many places), there is a price but each place is different, and yes, this particular place is safe.

Here is a list of the top four sites for DNA kits:

  1. Ancestry ($99, unless on sale)
  2. 23 and Me ($99-$199, depending on what package)
  3. My Heritage ($99, unless on sale)
  4. Family Tree DNA ($79-$199, depending on what package)

According to various sites and articles, every source for DNA testing has its advantages and disadvantages. We went with Ancestry because we know the site and we trust it. Others may hate the site. It all depends on personal preference and budget. If you don’t have a price point, you could the most expensive option but if you are on a tight budget, a cheaper route may be best.

I wish I had more background information on DNA kits but I don’t. I haven’t found anyone who has done one using anything other than Ancestry. When I do get more information, I’ll try to post again with more information.

As always, thank you for coming to my blog. I hope you enjoyed it! Don’t forget to follow so you can receive updates on my blog.

“Don’t worry about what you’re writing or whether it’s good or even whether it makes sense.” -Lauren Oliver

Do you know what time it is? It’s time to prepare for Camp NaNoWriMo. If you saw my nano.pngpost from November about NaNoWriMo then you might know a little bit about it. If not, it’s ok. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. You are challenged to write 50,000 words in the month of November. So what does that have to do with right now? Well, in the months of April and July there is this things called Camp NaNoWriMo. For these two months, you set your own goal for writing and you work to hit that goal. One really cool thing about Camp NaNoWriMo is that you get to be in a group called a cabin. It is a small group, there is a max of 11 people in each cabin. I am in a cabin with other writers who are also Bullet Journal enthusiast.

The reason I am writing about this now, at the beginning of March, is to let people know about this awesome thing going on. I just signed up yesterday and will be preparing for April. I made a goal of 22,000 words. You can make any goal you want, some people in my cabin have a goal of 12,000. It’s really up to you and what you feel comfortable writing. It was a little difficult to get in the 50,000 words back in November and I didn’t win NaNoWriMo but I plan on winning at Camp NaNoWriMo.

To get started, you must visit the Camp NaNoWriMo site. If you have done any type of NaNoWriMo before, then all you have to do is sign in with your username/email and password from your account. If you forgot your password, like me, then you can click “forgot password” and you are able to make a new password. You just need access to the email you signed up with. If you haven’t done it before, then you would click the “join now” button on the left side of the page.

If you are unsure about whether you want to sign up for this or not, visit the Camp NaNoWriMo about page. You don’t have to write a novel, you can write a bunch of poems or a script or even a few children’s books. You are in charge here. Make the goal, whether it be hours spent writing, words to be written, or pages, you make it and strive to hit it or even exceed that. If you still have questions or concerns after visiting the about page, I would suggest the Camp NaNoWriMo FAQ page.

So, you’ve signed up. Now what do yo do? You have to set up your profile, try to add a picture to your account as well. Your picture can be of whatever you want, it doesn’t have to be a selfie, it doesn’t even have to have a person in the picture. My picture is my husband and I. Once you have your profile set up, set up your project profile. You don’t have to include a title for your project, I’ve seen plenty of people who don’t have one yet. Just make your goal and you’re ready. There are multiple ways to be in a group. If you know people, have them invite you to their group. You could also go on the NaNoWriMo Forums to read the “Finding Cabin Mates” post. Another option you have is to make your own cabin, if you have friends you’d like to join you. Your last option is to be randomly sorted into a cabin. For many people, this option works out wonderfully. If I didn’t already have a cabin I wanted to join, I would have selected that option. If you want nothing to do with cabins, that is ok too. There’s an option for you as well.

You now have your camper profile, your project all set up, and your cabin figured out. What’s next? Well, now is the time that you map out what your project will be about and how you want to get from 0 words to, in my case, 22,000 words. You don’t have to plan anything, some don’t. This whole thing is up to you.

If you’re doing Camp NaNoWriMo, please comment below with your username so we can all be friends! Remember: You can do it!! And, as always, thank you for reading. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

“How often are we to die before we go quite off this stage? In every friend we lose a part of ourselves, and the best part.” -Alexander Pope

As we get older, our lives change. The things were valued when we were 5 are not the same things we valued at 16 and the things we valued at 16 are, most likely, different from the things we value most in our adulthood. We may move away from home, experience the death of a loved one, or even the birth of our own children. Some changes are hard to cope with while others are accepted with open arms. One of the more difficult ones that I have recently dealt with is loosing a dear friend.

As we age, we find that the friends we had in high school are probably going to go on different paths in life from you. Every once in a while we find that one friend, sometimes two, who stick with us through all of those changes. They’re what we all call our best friend. You don’t see anyway that would make your friendship end because you’re just too close. But then, life throws you a curve ball and you’re leaving her house at midnight because she hurt you in an unforgivable way. You go days, weeks, months without saying a word to her. You see that she’s happy, even with you gone, while you’re trying hard to stop the flow of tears. It’s not a happy time in your life. It’s harder than when the guy you were in love with broke up with you. She knows all of your secrets, she’s the one you talked to when anything (big or little) happened in your life and all you want it to have that again. But you can’t. You can’t have that again because she broke your heart in a way you never thought possible.

17238931_1647987095509682_603771781_nIf you’ve never experienced such a pain as I just described, then you are very lucky. I actually experienced this more than once. The first time started in high school. After several years of barely talking, we are actually on good terms. We are not where we used to be, we may never get there, but we are still friends and we do care about each other. The second time happened on March 4, 2017. I won’t go into details but when I was verbally attacked by two people I thought were supposed to be my friends. I wasn’t going to sit around and let it happen so I left. I left the house in the middle of the night and walked down the street. I left all of my stuff that I had with me, I had no jacket, I didn’t even have any plans. I just made a couple of phone calls until I found someone able to pick me up and take me out of there. I felt numb. Not just from being cold but from the torture I was just put through. The one person I trusted with my life, let me down.

I haven’t talked to her, I can’t. There’s nothing left to say. I still very much care about her but I just can’t get over what I was put through. At least not right now. I spent three days crying off and on because of it. My heart is aching. But the words that were said cannot be taken back. Nor will they even try. Them wanting me to accept their harsh words is more important that friendship, which hurt even more when I was told that.

I’m not posting this to call anyone out or to get sympathy from my readers. I am posting this because I want my readers to know that you are not alone in the pain you feel after losing your best friend. I’m not the first person to every experience this and I most certainly will not be the last.

I decided to do a bit of research on dealing with a “Best Friend Breakup” and I was pleasantly surprised that there was a lot out there on Google pertaining to the topic. Here are a few things that I took away from my Google search:

  1. “Friend breakups tend to go unacknowledged, which can contribute to why people suffer so much from them. When the public response is ‘Eh, it happens,’ you feel like you shouldn’t be mourning as much as you are.” (How to Deal—and Heal—When a Friend Breaks Up With You)
  2. The closer you were to the friend you broke up with, the more you’re going to hurt. So give yourself adequate grieving time. (How to Deal—and Heal—When a Friend Breaks Up With You)
  3. Don’t get down on yourself if you find that you need more time. (How to Deal—and Heal—When a Friend Breaks Up With You)
  4. Try not to disavow all the good times you and your former friend had. (How to Deal—and Heal—When a Friend Breaks Up With You)
  5. The 13 steps on wikiHow to Get Over the Loss of a Best Friend
  6.  Buzzfeed’s article “17 Things Anyone Who’s Ever Had A Friend Breakup Knows
  7. Let yourself cry it out (Surviving a Friendship Break Up)
  8. Write a letter to your friend that you never intend to send (Surviving a Friendship Break Up)
  9. It may seem obvious, but don’t force your other friends to take sides. Get comfortable with the fact that they may still spend a great deal of time with your ex-gal pal and that this is no reflection on you. (Surviving a Friendship Break Up)
  10. Just like dating, sometimes you have to be the one to take the first step (Surviving a Friendship Break Up)
  11. Put yourself first and make sure you are getting plenty of sleep, eating well and sticking to your usual routine. (Friend breakups are the worst – here’s how to handle them)
  12. You’ll need to surround yourself with other friends and family if you have lost a close friend, and it’s important to keep up with your social commitments, so that you don’t sit at home feeling increasingly depressed and isolated. (Friend breakups are the worst – here’s how to handle them)
  13. It’s normal to sit around going over things in your head and wondering what went wrong – this is how we grieve the loss of a person in our lives and it’s an important part of the healing process. (Friend breakups are the worst – here’s how to handle them)
  14. Be optimistic and remember that just because you have lost a friendship, doesn’t mean there won’t be more opportunities for new friends in your life! (Friend breakups are the worst – here’s how to handle them)
  15. If you are struggling to come to terms with the friend-shaped hole in your life, talking to other friends and family members can help you get some perspective. If you’re feeling really low, seek support from a counsellor or therapist (Friend breakups are the worst – here’s how to handle them)
  16. Don’t spill secrets that the two of you once had. (8 Ways To Survive A Best Friend Breakup)
  17. Don’t look at their social media. Like most break ups, when you look at their social media you’ll see that they went out with a different group of girls and jealousy will strike. (8 Ways To Survive A Best Friend Breakup)

I promise it will get better. It takes time but healing will come. I’m not there yet but I know I will be. Just like when a relationship ends, this friends breakup won’t end the world. There are people who want to be there for you, even if it doesn’t seem like it. I’m here for you.

If you have your own tips for healing after a best friends breakup, please comment below. I’d love to read them! As always, thank you for coming to my blog! Hit the follow button to stay up to date on all things in the life.

“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.” -Wild (Cheryl Strayed)

Being in nature is something that everyone should have the opportunity to experience. I grew up going camping and I have always loved it. It was, more often than not, due to hunting season, but it was still a blast. My senior year in high school, my friend and I decided to do our senior pictures while camping. We brought along a couple of outfits, our makeup, and our hair stuff. The company that our school went through was very expensive me 1.jpgso we decided to do our own. It actually turned out nicely, considering the lack of photography skills we had. I, sadly, don’t have access to them right now but I did find one picture from that weekend (it’s not one of the Senior portraits, though). I had fallen and my friend decided to snap a picture of me. I’m sure you can see that I’ve changed quite a bit since then.

Another wonderful time I can remember being in a nature setting is our Summer 2008 Girl’s Trip. My grandma, aunt, cousin, and I went on an adventure. We were driving along when all of a sudden we see a bunch of elk on the side of bearthe road. Being from California, you don’t see that. We decided to stop and take pictures of them and, upon further inspection, we figured out that it was part of what is called Bear Country USA. We all agreed that it would be a nice little detour so we paid for admission and drove on in. There is a wide range of animals to see but one of my favorite parts was when we got to drive next to bears. There were so many of them and one was even walking along our van.

If your haven’t had a fun experience in nature, you need to get out there and just do it. That’s what my friends and I decided to do. On Monday, we decided to plan a backpacking trip. Yes, it’s insane but we’re really excited. Jewel is one who is fearful of the outdoors but wants to overcome that fear and Michaela wants to challenge herself. As for me, I want to get out and be in nature for a few days.

Michaela is actually the one who brought up the idea and Jewel and I agreed to do it. Ourpct.jpg plan is to backpack through a small section of the Pacific Crest Trail. If you have never heard of this trail, it’s a trail that spans about 3,000 miles over 3 states. It starts at the California/Mexico border and ends at the Washington/Canada border (or vice versa). We decided to backpack through part of the trail that goes through the Angeles National Forest.

We have never been to the area, we’ve never been backpacking, and we’re all untrained. So, is it really such a good idea to do this? Some will say yes while many will say no. We have, however, signed up for multiple REI classes specifically for backpacking and Jewel and I have multiple overnighters planned before our full 4 day trip (yes, only 4 days) in the area. We even already have plans for how we are going to obtain some of the necessary equipment for this journey.

One important thing we have done is talk to people who know what they are talking about. I spoke to my uncle for about two hours on safety and what we needed to know or do (or not do) while we are out there. Talking to people who know what they are talking about is always a good idea. Jewel has also been able to talk to her dad, who has been backpacking multiple times.

wild.jpgAnother thing we decided to do was to pick up a copy of Cheryl Strayed’s book “Wild.” Why did we do this? Because it is about her travels through the entire Pacific Crest Trail. What better way to learn about the trail than to read a first hand account?

Are we afraid? Of course we are! There are bears, mountain lions, rattle snakes and other various things that could potentially kill us out there. Why should fear stop us from pushing ourselves? We are strong and willing to let life teach us a lesson so we’re going to do this. Are we excited? Most definitely! It’s something new and new things are always exciting. We are doing something that will challenge us more than anything we’ve done in life this far.

Have you ever hiked a section of the Pacific Crest Trail? Maybe even the entire thing? Please comment below with a story from your experience. I will be keeping a journal while we are out and I plan to write all about it when we are done. Maybe I’ll even be able to backpack through the entire trail and write a book based on my experiences, just like Cheryl Strayed.

If you haven’t been to the Pacific Crest Trail, comment below with any memory you have about being in nature, good or bad. And as always, thank you for stopping by. Hit the follow button to get more updates on everything in my life.

“My family took a vacation to Universal Studios when I was really young. Me and my brother Richard – who’s also an actor – were both really intrigued by seeing the behind-the-scenes stuff of how films are made. We kind of begged our parents to get into acting.” -Jonathan Jackson

To continue what was started last week, I will be giving a brief synopsis of each months’ usvisits to Universal Studios Hollywood. This month I am talking about my trips in February. It was a great time to go, as long as you missed the rain. IF you have a season pass, you probably have little to no blackout dates for February, since it is what is considered an “off-season” month. This just means that fewer people visit.

Overall, the crowds were light and there were plenty of events going on. I was really excited because I finally got to go to the Harry Potter section here, I was blessed with the opportunity to go to the one in Florida last year but wanted to experience it here as well.

Events, that I know of, that happened this month:

  1. Lunar New Year event (official USH event)
  2. Lord Voldemort’s Valentine’s Death Eater Day (Facebook event)
  3. Old Hollywood Day (Facebook event)

I’m sure there were more events that occurred that I was unaware of but these I was aware of.

A few things to be aware of (good and bad) because it is the off-season:

  1. All water related things (other than Jurassic Park) were closed for refurbishment.
  2. The park closes early during the week
  3. There may be rain, it rained a lot this year
  4. Ticket prices are lower
  5. Crowds are lower
  6. It will be cold in the mornings
  7. Some attractions may close that aren’t water related

In the month of February the Jaws, Waterworld, fountain in CityWalk, and glove at the entrance were all down because they were being refurnished.

If you have any questions, comment below. I’m sad to say that, due to circumstances beyond our control, we didn’t get to visit Universal Studios too much during the month. We hope to visit more in the month of March. As always, thanks for stopping in to read my blog. Don’t forget to follow me so you can stay up to date with my life!