Where would you go?

My mother has terminal cancer.

This has been the most difficult year of my life.  Dealing with the idea of losing my best friend and mother is the worst thing I could imagine.

This is mom and I a couple years back in Hawaii, we had a beautiful trip.
  This is mom and I a couple years back in Hawaii, we had a beautiful trip.

Watching the most giving person have to go through such a difficult sickness has been so frustrating, especially when there is nothing you can go.  My mom is such a fighter and has continued to impress me with her continuous strength and courage to battle cancer.  She is a true fighter filled with strength. I admire her and am so proud and lucky to call her my mother.

I could talk about that but instead I am trying to stay positive, as that is what my mother wishes.

SOOOOO, if you knew you had a limited amount of time, where would you want to go?  What would you want to do?  What experiences would you want to have?

My mom wants to experience some adrenaline rushes and spend as much time with her family as possible.  We have been squeezing in as many fun experiences as possible.  The one thing my mom really wanted to do was spend a weekend on the Oregon coast with our crazy family.We were lucky to gather everyone except my oldest brother, and had a really great time in Newport.

It took three cars to get everyone there!

It took three cars to get everyone there!

Did I mention I got a kitten?!  His name is Wallace and it turns out he doesn’t mind driving in the car one bit!

Although my two other passengers got restless really quick, as we got stuck in traffic A LOT.  The entire drive from Seattle down to Newport took EIGHT hours.

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After a late arrival we found a hole in the wall bar (my favorite) a brief walk away from the  hotel.

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 I won some money on Oregon Lottery slot machine and we got some hot food before heading back to hotel for…

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LATE NIGHT PANCAKES!!!

The next morning we were off to hit the dunes (mom’s choice, that wild woman).  Unfortunately we had an unexpected two hour wait. 6

This is my sweet mother and father, pretty cute huh?

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Making best of the unexpected time, Phil and I went to go visit the city of Florence.  We had stayed the night here during our HWY 101 trip a couple months back.  We went for coffee but I ended up shopping and then found him sitting outside enjoying a beer, go figure!  Thes rest of the fam played some miniature golf.

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The whole crazy group

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FINALLY!  Strapped in and ready to roll 🙂

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Off we go

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Buggy #1

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Buggy #2

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I had no idea how beautiful and SCARY the dunes would be!  You can’t tell in the pictures but it literally feels like you are about to fall off the edge of the earth on some of the hills.

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Cancer most certainly didn’t stop my mom from enjoying the dunes in the front seat ❤

The next day mom wanted to go sit on the beach and enjoy the ocean as she loves being near water.  So we tried to find a beach that wasn’t to difficult of a walk down to the water, which was more of a struggle than you would think.

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We stopped at many beaches that had very steep inclines, that mom insisted she would be fine at, but we all worry and wanted to be sure we found a safe option… I’m sure this was very irritating for mom.

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Success 🙂

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Did I mention we brought Wallace the kitten to beach? Yup, I was the crazy lady with the kitten on the beach.  To all of our surprise, he loved it!

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Took a little nap in my shirt after exploring.

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It was a successful trip and I will cherish it as a beautiful memory ❤

I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.

A random trip to Orcas Island was such an unexpected treat.  Orcas Island is somewhere I had gone camping as a child and has ever since had a special place in my heart.

Deception Pass
Deception Pass

On the way to Anacortes where you catch the ferry to the San Juan Islands is a great spot called Deception Pass.  No matter how many times I have seen this place, it always takes my breath away.  I always get the chills at one spot of Deception Pass because in 2010 I found a dead body, seriously.

Some Pictures around the bridge
Some Pictures around the bridge

That is my model face… and that is why I am not a model 😉

Nailed it?
Nailed it?

I asked for this picture and the hand in the picture was not amused with the thirty times he tried to take it.  Recognize it from those around the world pictures of the sexy brunette?  I tried… ha.

The wait for the ferry to come is always a long one, and expensive!  It cost $60 to get a car onto that thing! Luckily when you get on the ferry the view is breathtaking and they serve beer, which always helps.

Love the native art all over ferry.
Love the native art all over ferry.

Local beer, breath taking views- it was hard to get off!

Pit stop
Pit stop

Upon arriving to the island we did some exploring before checking into our hotel at the Island Hopping Brewery.  A very cute and cozy tasting room filled with locals.  I also found myself sitting next to a girl who had lived in Montrose, the same neighborhood of Houston that I did and it turned out that we knew a handful of the same people.  The world just seems to get smaller and smaller!

The room at Rosario Resort
The room at Rosario Resort

I stayed at the Rosario Resort  which had a dreamy little porch overlooking the water.  There was also an adorable restaurant on the marina which was about a 3 min walk down a little path that we ate at twice, and later went to the bar and mingled with the staff.

Random shots
Random shots

Exploring around the Island.

Found a book filled with interesting ways to judge the rarity of my seaglass findings. I had to pull over to snap a picture of this quaint little stand.
Found a book filled with interesting ways to judge the rarity of my seaglass findings. I had to pull over to snap a picture of this quaint little stand.

The evening sunset was pretty epic, though not much of a traditional Sunset.

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I highly recommend visiting the San Juan Islands, especially Orcas.  My only complaint about this trip is that it wasn’t long enough.

Amanda.

Combing the Beach

Lately I have been emotionally all over the place. I haven’t known what to do to keep myself busy so I don’t dwell on melancholy issues in my present life. I found myself on the beach the other day completely calm searching for seaglass. Losing a couple hours to the coast every day is honestly the best therapy.

I have 218 steps down to the beach, since I had looked up the tide time, I knew the best time of day to comb.
I have 218 steps down to the beach, since I had looked up the tide time, I knew the best time of day to comb.
I stayed in this area, a rare moment when this section of beach was empty, my favorite.
I stayed in this area, a rare moment when this section of beach was empty, my favorite.
First piece of blue glass this year, definitely the rarest color to find on Alki.
First piece of blue glass this year, definitely the rarest color to find on Alki.

My childhood was spent vacationing to drivable and affordable locations.  My parents utilized the fact that we lived in the glorious state of Washington, where you can drive in any direction for thirty minutes and be surrounded by beautiful wilderness.  I have vivid memories of being able to collect treasures to fill up my bucket.  It’s funny how kids love collecting treasures.  Being that anything you find washed up on the beach is yours for the keeping is so exciting as a child, who has no form of currency it almost seems like a loop hole in the system.  By the time I was 18, I got on my first plane and at the time I felt embarrassed about it, but now I get nostalgic thinking of all the glorious PNW vacation spots my parents introduced me to.

Hidden Starfish
Hidden Starfish

I try to be a good citizen and along with collecting gems I also collect trash off the beach to dispose of. When I went to lift this piece of trash I was surprised to find a little starfish waiting for the tide to come back.

This Seaglass made a home for some barnacles
This Seaglass made a home for some barnacles
Crab shells are in abundance here.
Crab shells are in abundance here.  

There is such a variation of new and old sea life to explore.

My discarded pile (all the rocks that loose their glimmer when they dry) Had a caterpillar claim what I left.
My discarded pile (all the rocks that loose their glimmer when they dry) Had a caterpillar claim what I left.

My unwanted rocks were quickly explored by this fuzzy little guy.

My favorite piece of the day, a worn word from a bottle.  Please will never get old.
My favorite piece of the day, a worn word from a bottle. Please will never get old.

I hope to soften the edge on this, surround it with a sterling silver bezel and make a pendant.

My kept findings for the day, this bowl was also a finding from another day!
My kept findings for the day, this bowl was also a finding from another day!

I plan to go on a couple more wanders and then get this glass re-homed into some handcrafted jewelry.

Thanks for peeking in

Asparagus Nightstand

A couple of years ago while visiting Seattle from Houston for the Holidays, I met with an old boyfriend.  Catching up over some (ok a lot) of whiskey at a Tacoma bar, we discussed where we currently were in our lives and where we planned to be in the future.

He said something that really stuck with me.  He told me that he knew many very impressive women who had bright futures that instead had married and become stay at home moms, and that success to them had now become finding an old piece of furniture for their husbands to pick up from craigslist, so they could “refurbish” it. I remember thinking “oh shit,  I love painting old furniture!”  Since that day, every time I come across a piece of unique furniture in need of some TLC, I resist.

He always gets tricked into ending up on an unwanted adventure when we go for a quick errand…
My little brother Bryce.  He always gets tricked into coming on an unwanted adventure.

Well screw that.  I found a good looking nightstand and had my little brother carry it from the Goodwill by my parents place and into my car.  Today I sanded and painted that beast.  Unfortunately, I ran out of paint and it is looking pretty horrendous so far.

Some pictures along the way.
Some pictures along the way.

Will keep you posted on the progress, as I ran out of paint!

I just made a fresh coffee press, as I write this.  There is something so magical about listening to a favorite Pandora and having coffee in the middle of the day while a cat snuggles on your lap.  I am really enjoying it today.

Oliver is a 15+ year old cat who lives in the house I rent from. 

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Wish me luck on finding the same paint again… or this is going to be one ugly piece of furniture!

What we leave unnoticed.

Life is so unpredictable and constantly handing out new struggles at the worst possible time.

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My favorite person in the world revealed some heartbreaking news to me today.  In fact to my whole family.  There has been a lot of tears and we all feel a lot of anger.   I always find myself wanting to write down all of my negative thoughts about how “the world isn’t fair” and that “it’s always the most selfless people that get the biggest hurdles”.  Instead I’m going to take a minute and share something that brings me happiness.  I can’t change the bad news but I can try to focus on the good in life instead of the bad.  After all, that is what my favorite person has asked of all of us.

This may look like a picture I accidentally took…

To me it is so much more.  I took this picture on top of the Hallgrímskirkja Church in Iceland in April.
To me it is so much more. I took this picture on top of the Hallgrímskirkja Church in Iceland in April.

If you have ever seen the movie Amelie (which I have an unhealthy amount of times,) you can remember the beginning when she goes over peoples quirky small pleasures they find in life.  Finding worn furniture and handles is one of my small pleasures in life. You can tell that the same spot has been stepped on by an unimaginable amount of strangers.  That entire step could be worn all over, but just instead, just those two worn areas right were millions of feet have stepped up to look out at Reykjavik.  My favorite is to find worn spots on bar tops.

The view from the admired step.IMG_4118 IMG_4134

What are your small delights you look forward to during your day?