12th Day Of Christmas: The Donarski Clan

20141225_104706Today was Christmas Day – the 12th day of Christmas according to my blog. We stayed at my parents last night, watched The Interview via YouTube and my mom and I wrote a poem. Christmas morning was grand. Santa came with gifts which was a delightful surprise because we thought Christmas was over and done with on my side of the family and we decided to stay overnight just the day before. Santa’s definitely on top of his game this year.

Dad made breakfast. I ordered his classic fried egg sandwich. We were low on bread so he substituted a bagel. Delish! I don’t really do breakfast but I just can’t pass up my dad’s early morning cooking.

Early afternoon we headed over to Channing’s parents house. Soon after, his sisters and their kids came. Channing has two nieces and a nephew. They’re the light of the family. There is just something about kids that makes the world keep spinning and helps all your worries fade away.

Dinner was at 5ish followed by a couple drinks. Channing’s dad makes the best mashed potatoes around. I’m a total starch junkie so anything potato I always enjoy but something about these potatoes makes them my favorite.

Next up was gift time! It’s always so nice to have everyone together and watch the kids open their presents. Jayde is a veteran, she’s been doing this for years. She’s growing into such a young woman that it’s crazy. I came into her life just after she turned 5 years old and now she’s 11 going on 30! Make-up, purses, fashion, perfume!

Duane is at that age where when he knows there’s something for him, he wants it now! And it better be Thomas! He got Thomas all right. It was a healthy mix between Thomas gear and Cars fandom. He loved it!

And lastly there is Evy, oh little Evy. It was her very first Christmas. They put her down for a nap shortly before the gift opening but somehow, some way she knew it was Christmas and woke up just in time for the action. Her mom and dad opened her gifts. She’ll be good on books and toys for awhile that’s for sure!

After a game and a little more visiting we decided to part ways and head home. Thankfully the roads were clear. We avoided any forecasted snow so that’s always a plus. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas (or any other holiday you may celebrate) season!! If you’re not home yet, drive safe. When saying your goodbyes, hug a little tighter and don’t forget to say thank you for everything! Often times the hosts, cooks, and Santa’s don’t get the appropriate recognition.

Merry Christmas to all and all a good night!

 

 

Sioux Falls, Waterfalls.

I actually have never taken a spur of the moment trip at any point in my life. Until this past weekend. The last month or so has been pretty busy on the work front for my boyfriend and I so when he finally got word of a weekend off, we were definitely going to make the most of it.

falls

Waterfalls At Falls Park

Our plans originated in the camping version of a weekend getaway. We love being by the water and in nature. Pitching a tent, building a fire, and roasting a few good ol’ marshmallows. Typical Minnesotan summertime pastime, ya know.

But guess what? After a beautiful week of 80 degree weather, it decided it was going to storm. Mreh. Change of plans I guess.

I spent Friday evening Googling some places that we’d never been and would be fun to explore for a day or two which ultimately led me to Sioux Falls. So, Saturday morning we hopped in the Rav and headed south on I-29.

Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of the ride itself because I was driving and Chan isn’t necessarily photographically inclined. But my God, have you been to South Dakota? Actually, I should ask if you’ve been to eastern North Dakota.

fuck

Koi Fish & Ducks

I’ll fill you in. Where I live, it’s as flat as a piece of paper on an even level. We have to build our own hills in this area. Not even 2 minutes after crossing the ND/SD border, we saw hills galore. It’s every skiers paradise. (I don’t ski, so this is just a guess.) We were still in agriculture central so the hills were filled with acres upon acres of beautifully landscaped crops and dotted with cows roaming up and down the land. It was actually picture perfect.

The trip to Sioux Falls actually went by quick thanks to the nice scenery. We visited the city zoo which wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be but was still cool. I hadn’t been to a zoo since my 6th grade field trip to Canada so I felt like a kid again exploring the property and seeing the animals.

butterfly

Butterflies.

We also checked out a butterfly and aquamarine house at the local Sertoma park which was also pretty fascinating. The butterflies would land right on us and there were so many different kinds and colors. There was an opportunity to touch a sting ray but I kind of chickened out by that point. Maybe next time.

park

Falls Park, Sioux Falls, SD

The highlight of the trip was Falls Park. I don’t know the history about the park itself but there were these beautiful falls right in the center of the park. If you know anything about me, you know that I love love LOVE waterfalls. We spent a few hours there just lingering around. It was just beautiful. If you ever get a chance, head that way. It’s well worth the trip.

Have you ever taken a spur of the moment weekend trip? Where did you go? What did you do!? I’d love to hear some suggestions within driving distance of Grand Forks!

My Memorial Day Weekend Was Memorable.

10410096_10152414310318363_1536059176270689246_nAs you can see, I haven’t blogged in a good two or so weeks. I don’t know where to start. We went on what I’d call our ‘first real vacation’ over the holiday weekend. I’ve been to a few places before. My parents, boyfriend, and I went to Eau Claire over Labor Day last year so I suppose I should also classify that as a vacation too but..anyways.

10308161_10152414310113363_7604619791352627641_n“C” and I went to Duluth, MN for a nice 4-day getaway. Set aside the backseat driving, our time there, during, and back was absolutely wonderful. On Friday, we didn’t have anything planned since we took our time to get there so we mosied our way down and through Canal Park. This is officially one of my most favorite places in the little bit of the world that I’ve seen. It was almost movie like. Kids were rushing with melting ice cream cones to watch the ships enter the harbor. A little old man was feeding seagulls bread. Tourists were gawking over the lighthouse at the end of the strip. The temperature was 72 degrees with a breeze.

10169411_10152418652473363_927707804006529661_nOn Saturday, we toured the well-known Glensheen mansion and took a cruise aboard the Vista Fleet. With my camera acting as a necklace, I couldn’t stop snapping memories one by one. Don’t worry, I made sure to cherish the moments as well. I know that some people will tell you to live in the moment which is great advice and I like to live by that. 10363843_10152418651168363_3801365417157104304_n But moments aren’t forever. They fade. They are lost. Days, weeks, and years drift by so quickly that we could never expect our minds to remember the little things. Those moments are the ones I photograph. I don’t need to remember my face or his on those days. I don’t need to remember the breeze on my back. But I do and I will need to remember the view. The images that I see will always bring me back to the moments even when I’m old and wrinkly.

To end a beautiful day on the water, we ventured to Enger Park. It’s at the tip-top part of the Duluthian hills. You can see it from Lake Superior as a little thimble at the top of a hill but when you’re up there, after your ears have popped, and you’ve climbed the six flights of stairs, you feel like you’re on top of the world. It’s absolutely breathtaking. To be able to take in North Shore to the Areial Lift Bridge on Canal Park, out into the emptiness of Lake Superior, over the railroad tracks and to Wisconsin is just beautiful. There isn’t any other way to describe it other than that. Simple and peaceful. Life isn’t so hard when you’re on top of a hill looking at all there is to offer.

10265637_10152418646438363_7302329799456455428_o

1554408_10152418647558363_7867321417357191154_nSunday, oh Sunday. It was an adventure to say the least. We traveled about 45 minutes to the north of Duluth along the scenic North Shore route 61. Our first stop was Gooseberry Falls. And to sum it up in one word: breathtaking. I know it sounds like I’m repeating myself adjectivally throughout this post but everything really was “that amazing!” Gooseberry Falls is one of those places that everyone should have on their Bucket Lists. Once you make your way through the little bit of a hike to get there, you’re presented with children and families embracing all the Falls have to offer. It’s gorgeous. We sat on a few rocks right near the underside of the falls and just listened to the water crashing below. 10406759_10152418655333363_957176214802948853_nI sat quietly observing the children playing and the adventure seekers climbing the cliffs. I watched as a man and his dog fitted with booties hopped from rock to rock. We climbed our way down to the “rapids” and slowly but surely took a walk through the water, over the slippery rocks. Feeling the pressure on our ankles and calfs, moving against the current. Moments like those are the ones you smile at while looking into the nothingness off your deck after a long day at work. It was something that I hope to never forget. We would love to make another trip to eastern Minnesota just to see these again.

10312838_10152418653823363_4341966486862979581_nReady for another awe-inspiring view? Split Rock Lighthouse is only about 10 minutes from Gooseberry Falls. How can two of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen be so close in proximity? Jackpot! Lighthouses are my weakness. Really anything sea or ship related to be quite frank. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s the history or the mystery. Whatever it may be, bring me to a lighthouse, show me something with an anchor on it and we’ll be best friends until the end.

10298877_10152414309893363_3234319371217711934_nThis past weekend was filled with so much love and laughter, that I can’t even express it in a blog post but I have learned one thing: ENJOY IT. I feel so often that I worry too much about the future and over-analyze my past. I compare myself to others constantly and am afraid that I’m not living my life to it’s full potential. I’m making a proactive effort to change my way of thinking. I’ve been reading so many “find yourself” articles lately, that I really do need to find myself before life continues to drift on by as quickly as it has been. Screw what everyone else is doing. I don’t want my biggest regret to be worrying about everyone and everything else, not going on those trips or spending that money. Not buying that lake property. Not moving to that city and getting that promotion.

So, after a long awaited much deserved (if I do say so myself) vacation to Duluth, MN – live it up people. Make memories with those you love. Take pictures. Take tons of pictures. Laugh, slip, fall down, and get back up. Climb that extra flight to get to the top. Fight for your happiness and make damn sure that smile is real.10309209_10152414281593363_8809544577189953159_n

Much love. -Oar

God’s Not Dead.

loganI’ve been busy being busy. The good kind of busy though. Where time doesn’t drag and you enjoy the people you’re around. I had a great weekend. My teeny tiny taller than me baby brother went to prom. Which is kind of a big deal because he’s so…Logan. You’d have to know him to get it. But he definitely looked dashing. His girlfriend and him complimented each other very nicely.

My mom’s birthday falls tomorrow so, because we’re kind of a ways away, my brother Nick and I celebrated it with her yesterday. We went to Fargo to spend the day at the 8th annual Holistic Expo and grabbed some grub.

I’ve been to the expo before and really enjoyed it. There is everything from healing stones to palm readers to balancing the mind and finding peace. Two years ago I went to PaLiChi and felt such peace and harmony after my reading. I was going through a really tough time and her words and reassurance had stayed with me since I last saw her.

falithi

PaLiChi – 763-742-8690 www.falithihealing.com

She was at the expo again this year and I was more than thrilled. I won’t go into detail with my experience but I want to recommend her to anyone that ever needs help or healing in almost any sense. She is a Master Shaman, Psychic Medium, Spiritual and Energy Healer.

I’ve always known that spirit guides worked through people on the physical Earth. I’ve never doubted it. And to be able to have gone to her multiples times now and see what she can do even if just for a few moments really moves mountains.

I believe the Holistic Expo is in Fargo only once a year each spring but she is located in Brooklyn Center, MN. I have posted her website and contact information below her photo for anyone that is interested in experiencing her gift.

Following our trip to Fargo, my mom and I came back to Grand Forks and went to the movie “God’s Not Dead.” I had heard a little about it but hadn’t seen or sought out a preview. We were kind of tight on time and it was the first one closest to the time that we wanted to go, so we did and I’m glad we did. It amazing how so many little things in a day can link up and make you feel like a totally different person.

After my reading with PaLiChi, being with my brother and mom, and then seeing “God’s Not Dead;” I felt different. Whole. I felt open to positivity and accepting everything that is handed to me. I saw through another persons eyes that sometimes the answer God gives you is no and it’s not to be cruel or to cause pain. It’s to save you and help you. I felt at peace knowing that things from my past and moments in time that I wish I could change were meant to be. I have multiple purposes in this world and it brings me joy to know that even though I’m just one person in the 7.046 billion or even more people, I can still make a difference. I might not change the way of humanity, make national news, or even have something I do be noticed, but I can change peoples lives in the smallest ways. I can be kind rather than crude. I can help rather than ignore. I can pray instead of doubt and most of all, I can trust that everything happens for a reason.

I don’t believe in every single practice of Catholicism in which I was raised. I eat meat on Fridays all year round. I believe that anyone of any race, gender, or sexuality should have the freedom to love and marry. I think marijuana will do more good than closed minds think. It should be regulated and alcohol prohibited. I think war is pure stupidity. I firmly believe that people should be hired based on knowledge. Just because you have a degree behind your name does not qualify you to do something. If you’re an idiot, a degree will mean nothing. I have opinions and am more judgmental than I’d like myself to be. I have flaws and sometimes I’m a royal asshole. But I have a heart, I am a person, and I love. I know I have angels and auras all around me. I know there is a higher power.

starsYou don’t have to be Lutheran or Hindu. You don’t have to be an Atheist or Jewish. You just simply have to be. And if you can find peace and happiness in just being as best as you are capable of being than that is enough. Nothing needs to be proclaimed or preached. Help others, do good, and be present. That’s what matters.