Coast to Coast Road Trip – The Grand Canyon

This was the pinnacle of our road trip, ya’ll – The Grand Canyon. One of the 7 natural natural wonders of the world , the name lives up to the hype. If you caught the previous post of days 1&2, you’re up to speed on our drive from Washington to Salt Lake which now brings us to our stop in Flagstaff, AZ! Less than a few hours from the Grand Canyon, Geoff and I got up early to catch the late morning light over this incredible piece of creation.

As we were nearing the park we saw a few helicopters flying over us. I casually commented on how insane it would be to take a tour of the canyon from above! Geoff smirked, quickly glanced in my direction and excitedly said “don’t play around because I will turn this car around right now!” Now, for those of y’all who know me know that I’m a bit of a budget ‘enthusiast’, if you will. (y’all like what I did there) 🙃 So the mere thought of spending more money than we already were on gas and hotel stays alone gives me heart palpitations. However, *said intently* I also have a spontaneous ‘treat yo self’ bone in my body that can sometimes take over. Halla atcha girl! 💃🏼 And wouldn’t you know it, ‘treat yo self’ won! *Geoff cheers loudly in the background.

Next thing I knew, we were taking off to what is now one of the most memorable moments of my life, just short of meeting Geoff and giving birth (seriously). I mean, at one point I even got emotional over the fact that we were physically flying over such a breath-taking piece of God’s creation – there were no words. I’ve never done something so spontaneous in my life, I couldn’t believe we were there, together…and I was beyond grateful for that memory we were given.

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After the tour, we took a drive into the park to see things from yet another perspective. And to be honest, it was just as special in it’s own right. I could’ve stayed there all day, just sitting and looking out to what seemed to be a never-ending panoramic view of some of the most beautiful landscape I’d ever laid eyes on. It was like an out of body experience where I felt even closer to Geoff for just witnessing it together.❤️

If y’all have a running bucket list, I strongly encourage you to check at least one of those items off in 2017. I’m a strong believer in the “you’ll only regret the things you didn’t do” mindset.

Thanks for reading, y’all! Winding down our trip on days 3-6 on the next post here on LtL where we visit the sweetest grandparents around.

Lemons to Love,

Lindsay

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Coast to Coast Road Trip

It seems as though our adventures are slowing down for the time being, so hindsight would tell me that driving across the country with G may have been the best way to go out with a BANG! 💥  That’s not to say our adventures won’t continue here in middle Tennessee, but they may just have a little less altitude. 😉

Back in March Geoff and I drove our way through the good ol’ US of A. With every ending comes a beginning and sadly that meant our time in Washington was over but a new chapter just within reach; subchapter #1, driving from Washington to Florida, with our final destination ending in middle Tennessee! I still can’t believe we did it, and don’t think I’ll even be able to get it all in one post! I mean, how am I supposed to condense a life changing time in our lives into one post? Maybe the answer is I don’t and let the rest fall into place. 🙏🏼

Weeks leading up to our final departure Geoff was busy mapping out our drive, which was a nice change from when I planned the road trip out there from Florida back in 2012…more on that here(insert cliche “where has the time gone?!”). Once I got to Washington, we had a few days with dear friends then packed up for our 13 hour drive to Salt Lake City, Utah! I always knew how beautiful of a state WA was but really found a new appreciation for Oregon. We’d only ever gone as far south as Portland so being able to see more of it’s rolling hills and seemingly endless mountain peaks began the appreciation of our road trip on the right foot.

After 173 games of ‘Would you Rather’ and ’20 Questions’ we finally made it to our hotel in Salt Lake. The mountains there are so.huge. we could see the outline of them even in the dark! It was as if they fell from the sky and landed smack dab next to you. I’d seen so many amazing pictures of the breathtaking views Utah can offer, so we decided to take the next morning and do a little exploring downtown. I’d love to go back one day and visit their National Parks. I mean whoa, could you imagine the photo opps there! *heart beats quickly* I’d probably be nerding out behind a lens the whole time while Geoff ‘patiently’ waited with a clenched jaw line. 😁😘 *Love you, G.

Salt Lake City’s downtown was so clean and manicured! I just remember walking around thinking it felt like a movie set.  We walked their streets and visited the main campus for LDS. It was something you’d have to see in person to believe, but it was nothing short of spectacular. The money, time and care they put into their grounds, welcoming visitors, and creating a peaceful ambiance was kind of surreal.

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Oregon panoramic peaks
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Sunset over Idaho
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Salt Lake City LDS campus. One word – HUGE!

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So that completes days 1-3! Y’all know I made a video too of the whole trip but I recently realized I have over 45 minutes of footage so…yeah, it’ll be a minute before I edit and post that on my YouTube channel. 😅 Until our next outing, hope you enjoyed our first few days across the country!

Thanks for reading, ya’ll! Stay tuned for our trip to the Grand Canyon and a surprise view from the air…coming next on LtL!❤️✌🏼

Lemons to Love,

Lindsay

 

Crying my way to God

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Welp. Y’all. It happened. It appears as though when I opened up about my infertility struggles in my last post, I also opened up Pandoras box – also known as a small window into my heart. I honestly didn’t realize that I had been trying so hard to keep it shut for all this time that even opening it a few inches pushed forth the flood gates that were quietly stirring, waiting for their chance to be set free. After all, even the sad, angry, and fearful feelings need their time to air out too, (apparently). But sometimes it just feels good, and maybe a tad easier, to put a bandaid over them and walk away until a new bandaid is needed. Sometimes it plain sucks to feel all those feelings I’ve pushed inside that window and covered with happy bandaids to deal with at another point in time. You know the ol’ “I’ll deal with that when I’m ready” adage?

So one day last week, a small window in my heart burst open unexpectedly and all those feelings I’d tucked away for a ‘day when I was ready’ came flooding out.  It definitely wasn’t my timing, I could’ve kept pushing on, but God knew it was time I deal with what was hurting and start the process of letting go the control. Those few days were some of the saddest I’d felt in a while, honestly. It hurt to feel them. I wanted so badly to shove them deep down back in their place, but God had a different plan.

And then, Sunday happened. You see, Geoff and I have been praying for a church home for almost 6 years now. We searched for nearly a year during our time in WA, but found our spiritual refuge in our hikes and family adventures on the weekends. All the while having faith that God would give us what we needed, when we needed it. We’ve found a church home here in middle TN at Brentwood United Methodist and even became members this past Sunday! It was a very special moment for our family, to stand in front of our new church and profess our love and commitment, but the even sweeter moment came with Brooks.

For the last 5 weeks we’ve been attending BUMC we always take Brooks to the nursery before service. And every morning he cries his little eyes out as we hand him over to trusting arms. But with each new Sunday came less crying and more confidence from our B.  Each Sunday he would make it just a little further down the hall, closer to the room before his fear kicked in and he remembered we’d be dropping him off. This last Sunday, however, was different. He made it all the way down the hall, to the room, turned and said ‘kiss Daddy’ and went in with no tears. When Geoff told me that I about burst.

At that moment, it hit me.  B’s transformation from screaming crying to gentle kisses and a wave good-bye was a direct reflection of this walk I’m on with God.  His ability to recognize that he was taken care of and could trust what lie ahead reminded me so much of our walk with Jesus. Getting there was not without tears. Getting there was not without a struggle to control his own fate of staying with his Mommy and Daddy, but getting there taught him he could trust in knowing we’d always be there when the time was right. How sweet and confident of our little B to know what trust feels like – almost as if it were ingrained in us from birth.

Much like Brooks, I held on tightly to my feelings in fear of letting go that I might fall apart somehow. That somehow opening that window into my heart might leave me vulnerable to the unknown. But, dear friends, I’ve realized…that is exactly where God wants me; right in the thick of vulnerable. Left wide open so He can work wonders with my life and my heart.

I pray you find this same place with me and allow God to work wonders in your life, too. Thank you so much for reading and sharing in this journey with me.

Lemons to Love,

Lindsay

The Blessing of a No

I’ve been sitting on this post for quite some time now, for no particular reason other than it just didn’t feel like the right time. And to be completely honest, I’m still not motivated by ‘my timing’, but something bigger than myself at this point. Maybe it’s the timing of it being National Infertility Awareness week, or maybe it’s the peace I feel when I intently stare at my son and thank God for the opportunity to be raise him with Geoff. Or maybe it’s a combination of those mixed with a number of different reasons that I still don’t feel I have the true capability of articulating at the moment.

In a recent post I came across on FB, I think Sarah Braden  says it perfectly.  It really gave me the understanding I was searching for without knowing. You see, my story’s no different than many others — I’ve had heartache, loss, rejection after rejection, and I’ve heard ‘No’ to countless passions and goals I’ve worked towards. But, after some time and reflection and trusting God’s plans; His bigger picture beyond the sting of a ‘No’, I’ve seen what and where His ‘Nos’ have led me.

I’m not going to give y’all some cliche answer that they’ve led me to Nirvana or some higher calling, but they have led me closer to Him…some not immediately and some soon after, but I finally got it. I got Sarah’s message of the hashtag blessed life. It’s not the beautiful pics or happy moments posted on social media or shared between loved ones. Those I am beyond thankful for…it’s the moments I need Jesus the most, lean on Him, call out for Him in times of despair that I am #blessed.

This all might sound completely crazy to some of you, and maybe it is, but for me I know it to be true…

For me, the blessing of a ‘No’ was the comfort I felt in my pain from rejection of an internship I worked so hard for. It is the grace and promise I heard after miscarriages, negative pregnancy tests, failed hormone injections, visit after visit to the infertility specialist and eventually being diagnosed with Secondary Infertility. It is the peace I feel knowing Jesus always promised to take us in His arms, move after move, and find our right community to settle into. In each heart ache, the hashtag blessed life is what I’ve known and keep near to my heart. Because in each of these moments I have felt the overwhelming rush of promise that His work is not yet done. ❤

Happy Friday, friends! I hope today’s post brings you promise to the days to come and confidence in knowing His work his not yet complete in each of you.

Lemons to Love,

Lindsay

Matthew 5: 1-12

“Blessed are those…”

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Heybrook Lookout

So the countdown continues on LtL’s #8in8 bucket list as we near the end of our time here in the PNW. In my last post I started our official countdown, which you can read more about here! There is honestly so much I would love to do before I leave in few weeks,  but sadly there isn’t enough time or the season just isn’t right. Nonetheless, y’all know I’m gonna try my best to  go out with a BANG, in true LC style. 😉💥

This week’s #8in8 pick was to Heybrook Lookout, located up in the Central Cascades. There are tons of amazing fire lookouts here in the Pacific Northwest, all with some of the most amazing views, but most (that I’ve seen anyway) require quite the effort in reaching…at least more than I’m willing to put out with a toddler in tow.😉 So we chose this one because of it’s distance and trail ease…but mostly because I saw some pictures that once you reach the top of the tower there are birds that will fly up to you and eat right out of your hand!! 😱🕊 *insert photo opps galore here!*

Sadly, the birds were no where to be found, but our day spent exploring was just as memorable.  We let B out of the Ergo carrier to blaze his own trails, and blaze did he ever! It was sooo cute to see him climb, run, and waddle his way through the trail and up to our destination. *heart melts* It honestly felt pretty cool to see him love something on his own that Geoff and I so equally enjoy doing together. We brought our lunch picnic, and once we reached the tower we let it clear out a little, and sat under some trees to devour our well-deserved sandwich and chips.

Brooks has never met a stranger I don’t think…and his new thing is saying ‘share’ when he wants something someone’s else has. 😏 There was a mother/son duo at the top of the tower enjoying their lunch. B eyed an orange, then quickly gestured that he’d also like to enjoy by holding out his hand and saying ‘share.’ “No, B, that’s not how sharing works…” (although …it is cute, most of the time) 😁 We were on a bit of a time crunch so I could make it to a girls’ night out for martinis (because, balance), so we basically ran the entire way back down the trail. Or at least I tried. The trail was at a pretty steady decline the whole way, so by the end my quads were (quite literally) shaking…needless to say, three days later the soreness finally left the lower half of my body. 😅 #outofshape

2 of 8 – Heybrook Lookout

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“Hoola hooping” 😀
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That’s all for the LtL #8in8 today!! We’ve got some fun things lined up in my last few weeks here I can’t wait to share!!

In the meantime…click that video montage below and enjoy yourself some live footage of B being adorable.📽 🤗👦🏼

Lemons to Love, ❤️

Lindsay

Brooks turns 2

There have been so many exciting events happening in our lives lately, but they all pale in comparison to this major event — B turns 2! People sometimes wonder why parents go to all the trouble of planning and throwing a party for kids, especially when they probably won’t remember…but I think celebrating your child’s life is more than just the efforts in throwing the party. For me, it’s a celebration of his life, his growth, his joy, and his addition to make us a family. Sure, he probably won’t remember his birthday, how we celebrated it or who was invited, but that’s what LtL is for. 😉 The efforts in crafting, buying the food, planning the party, taking the pics; it’s all a much deeper sense of celebration. I don’t ever want to take for granted the life God gave me responsibility for two years ago. Each life is a gift — and you, my dear sweet one, are our first of many.

We love you so much sweet baby B. Thank you for helping your daddy and me grow each day into the parents we pray to be, for the joy you bring to our souls, and adventurous spirit you were given…don’t ever forget who you are and whose you are.

John 1:12

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Lemons to Love,

Lindsay

Easy come, not so easy go

I was recently asked by a friend to be featured on her business’ newsletter. She’s actually the owner of the local Stroller Strides here in Olympia, WA – a community I’ve been a member of for over a year now. Stroller Strides has given me a lot over the last 14+ months; friendships, endurance, physical and mental strength, and something special I could also involve Brooks in 3-4 times a week. When I was a new mom in a new city, I found SS on a Google search “mommy and me groups” and thought why not?? It was welcoming, comfortable, physically challenging, and offered a healthy routine I could do with Brooks with other moms in all different seasons of their life both personally, professionally, and physically…but all that aside, we were all moms just wanting to improve our physique with a community of women around us. So when Kristy asked me to write a post I was beyond flattered and humbled at the request. Below is my post to the SS newsletter, I hope you enjoy it! And if you’re local check them out! If not, you can Google Stroller Strides in your area and see if there’s a group near you! This post is not sponsored, just my humble opinion from one new mom to another! 😉

 

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Easy come, not so easy go —

Well, come to think of it, not so easy come or go?! My family and I have been ‘visiting’ the PNW for the last 4 years. It wasn’t an easy transition from the South, a place I still miss dearly. But the bright-eyed and newly married me packed up our SUV with two dogs, a cat, and my willing mom and set out on a cross-country adventure to the beautiful state of Washington.
My husband, Geoff, was stationed out here and was heading back from a year deployment. Even though I was sad to leave my friends, family and the life I’d built behind, I was even more excited to start my life with the man of my dreams.

Ok, honesty moment…my only reference to military life (mostly) was my Netflix binge of Army Wives while Geoff was deployed (true story). I laugh now looking back because, well, some of it’s kinda true and then the rest is, yep you guessed it, dramatized for tv. *gasp* And maybe this is the Southern hospitality in me, but when I moved into our new home in a cul de sac, I halfway expected SOME type of neighborly greeting followed by a casserole or cookies?? Ok, that might be from Army Wives, but needless to say the welcoming vibe did not exceed my expectations.

So, one day, I put on my big girl undies and took my neighbors some cookies to strike up some type of neighborly relationship or friendly conversation at the very least. Spoiler alert: it worked! A few moves and years later, we’re still in contact with each other to this day. But my years here have NOT all been ‘made for tv’ picturesque. I’ve struggled with seasonal depression, loneliness, loss, and even the ‘occasional’ tear was shed here and there. I’ve lived places before where I hardly knew anyone at all–surely it couldn’t be that hard to find a niche of happiness and friends to share that with! I compared my time here with previous homes and wouldn’t you know it, it bit me square in the tush. You’ve heard the saying ‘comparison is the thief of joy’, right? Well, it’s so true in every aspect of our lives…I wish it was like a little seed I could rip from our brains before it digs in it’s toxic roots and begins to grow.

As you continue reading my potential sob story have no fear, for there is gain in the pain. Today’s post is not one of defeat, but one of patience, perseverance and growth. It might’ve taken longer than expected, but I’ve always believed God had a divine purpose in my time out here. And I still may not see some of it until I look back, years from now, and reflect on the life we had. As for now, with a cuter-than-you-know-what son who brightens my world daily, a loving and supportive husband, and friends I couldn’t do without…I’m saying good-bye to the PNW at the end of this year.

I’ve found pieces of myself I didn’t know existed, passions that give me life, friendships I’ll never quit, and a deeper love for my husband I thought possible. As odd as this may sound, I would never trade the moments of unhappiness I’ve experienced living out here because they’ve made me fight harder then I ever have to find a deeper sense of self worth and content.

Over the years I’ve found such joy in exploring all around this beautiful state – it’s really become my church away from home, my happy place. I’ve researched, driven, and gotten lost only to find some of the most jaw-dropping views I’ll never forget. Through hiking, waterfall chasing, sweeping panoramic views, and physically demanding trails, I’ve found a happiness inside from exploring what’s offered outside.

As our time draws near, I’m trying to soak up every bit of PNW I can! My heart leaps with joy at the possibilities that our future holds back in the South, but I will leave pieces of it here in the upper left of the US for the friendships and memories I leave behind. Thank you to all who have been a part of my encouraging community out here. With the inability to individually thank you all (mainly because I’d lose it and get all “emo” on you) thank you for being that moment of light I needed in my life. Your kindness, love, and welcoming friendship will always be cherished.

 

Lindsay

Norpoint Splash Pad

As we creep closer and closer to Fall, I refuse to accept the inevitable that our warm and sunny days here in the PNW are nearing an end, so I’ve recruited my friends along for the denial train ride. #allaboard! For this week’s PNW wonderland tour I met a girlfriend of mine who lives up near Seattle for a beat-the-heat splash pad play date. You might remember her from our play date to Titlow Park when B was a scrumptious-under-1 crawler! *gasp* He is about to be two, y’all! Enter denial train ride #2, departure time TBD. We originally planned to go to a pool/lazy river/splash pad (I know, sounds awesome right??) but upon arrival were greeted by the President of Bubble Bursters, Inc who explained we were two hours early for the ‘open swim’ portion of their pool. *buzz kill* So, my obsessed-is-an-understatement toddler who just about jumped in the pool before I could snatch him up immediately broke into a tantrum. *sigh* So, I handed him to Mr. Bubble Burster and politely asked him to explain to B that we couldn’t play in the water. Kidding, y’all. 😉 I didn’t. But, I thought about it. Poor guy was nice and just doing his job. So, we packed up our gear and redirected ourselves to another splash pad to start continue our play date!

We found a nice spot up in Norpoint, where we set up our picnic spot on the grass and let the kids get after it!

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Don’t these summer vibes make you want just a few more months of warm weather?!

What sort of plans do y’all have before the leaves begin to fall?

 

Thanks for reading!

Lemons to Love,

Where it all began

Y’all! Do you notice anything different?? I’ve been working my little fingers to the bone  for some fresh newness up in here and out came a face lift for LtL! My hope is that as a reader, your experience is more visually appealing, easier to navigate through different posts, and most importantly, you leave feeling like you’ve just experienced it all with me…well, the good stuff at least. 😉 As I continue working to enhance your time here on LtL with all the bells and whistles I can, I hope you enjoy the new look and more posts to come!

Sometimes I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for 3 years now! That’s still baby years compared to a few of my blogging muses out there, but I never imagined I would’ve found such a joy in writing, sharing, and posting. As an ode to my “old” LtL site and moving into a newer, fresher, and cleaner design I wanted to take it back to where it alllll began. Some of you LtL OGs (original gangster, obvi) may remember this story in my life, so for y’all it’s a walk down memory lane. For my newer LtL readers, I wanted to share a little slice of our story and how we made it allll the way out here to the PNW, pretty much the other corner of the US of A from where I’m from!

Hope y’all enjoy today’s flashback! It’s kinda adorbs to see how far my love for photography has come and my writing has changed…or not? You be the judge… 😉

•    •    •    •     •

Say what? Washington? No, no, not D.C. I often found myself correcting those I mentioned that I’d soon be moving from HOT-lanta to the far West Coast, in Washington State.

I always considered myself an adventurer, but I thinnnnk it’s easy to categorize yourself in a fun way, when you’re the one calling the shots in the adventure! Can I get an Amen??! Oh to have the days of careless wonder and agendas. Now, although I (thoroughly) enjoyed those said days, I also look forward to growing up (that’s what this is called right??), to having a life full of NEW adventures with Geoff. I don’t think growing up is letting go of that child-like state of wander and adventure, it’s just finding a new way of defining what adventure means to each of us as we grow *ish* up.

So, for now, I digress and continue giving thanks for allllll my past, present and future adventures, whether chosen or not. 🙂

Here’s to a New Coast Life! Cheers!

**  March 14, 2013  **

Today, I wanted to share with y’all my journey out here, (literally).  As Fall approached last year, I knew the day would soon come when I would pack up my life in Atlanta and head for the new adventure WA had waiting for us. I knew it would be a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ road trip, but I couldn’t do it alone. Who would I take? Or better yet, who would want to be in the car with me for 5+ days straight, is the better question??! Oh, and did I mention two dogs, a cat, (and a partridge in a pear tree??) The only person I could think of who I would love to take that plunge with was my mom. She accepted enthusiastically and we began planning for our Great Trip Out West!

Look at that car! Thankfully, my skillful Dad concocted a shelf for the pups to have a place to sleep, while still utilizing the space to store (crap), handy lil fella isn’t he?

We departed from FL and headed to a homey little place I like to call Alabama. My sweet grandparents were wonderful hosts for the night, never denying our palate for a good home-cooked meal before we headed off to St. Louis, MO.

Here they are…can’t you just feel their Southern hospitality and sweetness?? Seriously..can you handle it.

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After a good night’s sleep, Mom and I hit the road bright and early! Look at that beautiful sunrise, I think God was giving us a little motivating boost for the long road ahead.

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Over the next few days, Mom and I really enjoyed our time together…taking advantage of the time we had and getting lost in conversation and good laughs. On some nights, we had to get creative with the animals. Most hotels are actually very pet friendly! But after 2, they start charging more cash money money and since Mamma was on a budget…this is what we came up with (don’t judge me)!

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Poor Lou. We obviously couldn’t hide two 70+ lb dogs in a bag, so Lou caught the brunt of my savvy spending. She was such a trooper though! After 10 years together, she was used to my antics and multiple address changes. Bless her heart.

Seeing our beautiful country and all it has to offer brought on a new found appreciation. Mom and I would drive for hours without seeing much activity, or even an exit for that matter. But it was wonderful and humbling to see so much of what this country has to offer, without the constant entertainment of a ‘city life.’ Now, don’t get me wrong, over the years I’ve come to know at least one thing about myself, that I thoroughly love and thrive as a ‘city gal.’ But I also enjoy the opportunity to see what else this country provides us with. Driving through the Mid West was everything in one word, breath-taking. (well two words, hyphened)

We didn’t just drive straight through all 14 states to get to our final destination, we made a few stops and had a little fun along the way…

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Took a loop through the Bad*ss-lands, yeah we’re pretty hard core…

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Big how!

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Day 3 1/2. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? For me it was two. Over it.

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Trying to capture a family moment with these two is (almost) equivalent to taming two toddlers, on a sugar high, 24/7… (update: I actually have a toddler now…and this is still true with these two)

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Dixon taking a reflective moment on the trip.

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Our only pre-planned stop during our travels was on Day 4 when we went to see the historic sights of Mount Rushmore. It was about two hours out of our way and totally worth the extra mileage!!

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Absolutely amazing how with one man’s vision, a ‘few’ guys’ skillful hands, and 14 years of fearless hard work created THIS out of a mountain! Talk about your ultimate DIY!

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And finally, after 5 long days of memory-filled travel, Mom and I arrived at our destination of Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, WA. Thank.The.Lord!

My sweet dad flew out to help make the ‘military moving experience’ all the more seamless. This picture was taken after 36 hours straight moving in and ‘domesticating’ the house before their departure the next day! (Gotta get them curtains hung!)

I’d like to dedicate this post to my parents for making my cross-country move memorable and appear easy, when it could’ve been anything but. I love y’all!

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To my hubby, for his hard work and service during his deployment in Afghanistan. He may have been preoccupied with a ‘few’ things during his time over there, but he never once made me feel anything short of supported, loved, and remembered while he was away.

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And to Lou. During our trip out here, somewhere in South Dakota, at one of our routine lunch stops where Mom would make the sandwich wraps while I walked the dogs, Lou somehow got out of the car. We waited and called for her for nearly an hour with no luck of finding her anywhere. Eventually, we made a (very) tearful departure from the area. We made our pit stop on an exit with lots of land and a small barn with horses inside. My prayers are that she found a sweet farm family in South Dakota to keep her warm and love on her as their own.  I think of her often and miss her even more.

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And that, my friends, is the story of our cross-country trip that started this whole crazy blogging bit on LtL! It’s cool for me to look back and see how the blog has evolved over the years. In that same thought, I’m excited to see where it evolves from here!

As always, thanks for going along this ride with me! Next up this week, another PNW adventure!

Lemons to Love,

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No Butter, No Sugar, No Problem! Homemade Blueberry Muffins

In honor of our current houseguest,  and my favorite Father-in-law, I’ve found all the more reason to be domestic this week and cook up some good ol’ fashioned home cooked meals. Specifically on topic today, some homemade wholewheat blueberry muffins…yum. This is the third time I’ve whipped up these deliciously delightful breakfast treats so I figured it was high-time I write up a post for them!

I got the recipe over at FitSugar.com. It’s quick, easy, and they’re some of the best muffins I’ve made…all without the help of sugar, eggs, or white flour! You get your sweetness from the agave, maple syrup and blueberries. Those things really know how to pack a punch of a sweet candy taste straight from Mother Nature herself.

Homemade Wholewheat Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients:

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup soy milk
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup light agave nectar
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. 

2. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

3. Whisk oil, soy milk, maple syrup, and agave nectar in a bowl. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in another bowl. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients; fold in blueberries.

4. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake until muffins are golden brown and a knife comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes depending on oven.

Nutritional stats per muffin: 221 calories, 10 g fat, 1 g saturated, 30 g carbs, 10 g sugar, 3 g fiber, 3 g protein

PS…I’ve been posting some other yummy meals on my Instagram account, y’all should come check them out! Click on the icon to the right to find me.

Enjoy!

Lemons to Love,

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Blue Cheese Jalapeño Burgers, oh my!

College football gameday (almost) seems like an urban myth in the Pacific Northwest, or at least compared to my experience growing up in the South. But, considering this is where we will call home for the unforeseen future, Geoff and I will make the best out of our situation and bring the tailgating here! Life always tastes a little better with good food and friends to share it with … so in honor of college football Saturday I give you the Blue Cheese Jalapeño Burgers!

(side note: if you can spot all the times I drop a subliminal picture of Auburn gear, you get a prize!) Kidding, just wanted to emphasize our love for the A-U

These burgers are probably one of the best burger recipes I’ve ever tried! I’m slightly obsessed! And to make them a little less guilt-ridden I usually place my burger inside a few crisp leaves of fresh lettuce. It’s Mmm Mmm good! and for this post, you get 2 for the price of 1 … that’s right, 2 recipes for the low price of one blog post. 🙂

I based my burger recipe from a Pinterest post found on my Tasty Treats board.  The She Knows website offers a ton of different resources for a wide range of readers, one of them being yummy recipes like this one!

I followed the recipe pretty closely, however I made a few tastebud adjustments based on what I know this house likes to devour. 🙂

Ingredients

*Yields: 8-10 burgers of generous portions

2 pounds ground (sirloin) beef – trust me, you can tell

6 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped *if you don’t have fresh jalapeños, you can sub with jarred pre-chopped jalapeños (I’ve found you can’t really tell the difference)

1 cup blue cheese crumbles

1 cup gorgonzola cheese crumbles

2 tablespoons finely minced garlic *we’re big fans here of garlic, so I usually double+ this

2 generous shakes of garlic powder *exact measurements not important 🙂

2 tablespoons soy sauce *lite

1 large egg *this helps keep your pattie intact

Your choice of cheese to top *Again, big fans of cheese here, so I’ll switch it up or do ‘eaters choice’
Hamburger buns *we like the Pepperidge Farm Onion Hamburger Buns
Lettuce, Onions, Tomatoes *optional

Spicy Avocado Spread *I love this recipe for a burger spread or a nice little chip n’ dip combo! Click on the link to get the recipe for yourself!

Directions:

1. Mix together ingredients for the Spicy Avocado Spread. I’ve found it’s tastier when all ingredients have marinated for at least an hour prior to consumption.

2. Combine all burger ingredients in large mixing bowl. Form your patties of desired thickness. *I’ve made big ol’ fat ones and teeny tiny ‘Steak and Shake’ inspired ones.

3. Cook each burger for about 5 – 7 minutes one each side, depending on how hot your grill is. Place your choice of cheese on top until melted.

4. Place patties on your cute Auburn serving platter and enjoy! *Don’t forget your Avocado Spread!

Happy College Football Saturday, and War Eagle! Here’s more shameless Auburn paraphernalia for your viewing and pleasure…

Happy College Football Saturday! I hope you enjoy it however you may choose!

Lemons to Love,
Lindsay
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Clean Eating: Paleo Pancakes

If you’re a frequent visitor of Pinterest like I am, you might’ve seen these pancake recipes floating around.  A healthier version of a Saturday morning ritual I had growing up? Yes, please!  I hardly ever eat them anymore, unless I’m lucky enough to be home while my mom is whipping up a batch.  Those two (or three, let’s be honest) deliciously circular cakes of carbs drizzled with yummy syrup on top can pack a palatable punch, but lack the nutritional needs to last you all morning, bummer.

So, with keeping the new tradition of clean eating … I give you the Paleo Pancakes! With just two ingredients, yes I said only two, and about 10 minutes of your time, you can enjoy a guilt-free treat on any morning of the week, or afternoon/evening for that matter!!

Yields: about 2 servings and only 250 calories for the entire batter

Ingredients:

1 (ripened) banana
2 eggs

Directions:

Just whip these together in a blender until soft … and voila! you’ve make your pancake batter! Spray your skillet with cooking spray, any will do.  Turn on burner over medium-low heat. I made little mini pancakes … the minis just seemed to have that special ‘come and eat me’ appeal to them.

Smile! Your about to eat clean!

Bon appétit !

Disclaimer: Be open minded … if you’re hoping for an exact replica of your favorite pancake recipe, without all the carb-loaded ingredients, you might be slightly underwhelmed. But for me, I thought they were the perfect substitute to a Saturday morning ritual! I was not dissapointed in the least with my new guilt-free clean eating recipe and will definitely be whipping up this easy recipe again!

Let me know what you think!

To clean eating and a healthier you…

Lemons to Love,
Lindsay

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