Happy 4th of July!

10985043_10153395171998363_4414178062167023536_nAll in all, this year’s 4thof July was pretty “decent” as quoted by Bubbles of Trailer Park Boys. We ventured up north (way north) to Warroad, MN. Historically, Warroad on the 4th of July, is one of my favorite places to be. From when I was a kid chasing candy thrown from the parade to family reunions to the best of memories with friends and loved ones, it’s a place of nostalgia and goodness.

11169475_10153395153128363_6627320951989960699_nThis year, we took part in the Foster Family Reunion and camped out in our tent. I’ve decided that I feel indifferent about reunions. I am kind of excited for them – to see people that I know I’m related to and kind of know about but never see. But at the same time, I’m like “eh” because I usually end up talking to the people that I normally see like my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandma.

I know it probably sounds anti-social but I really have no desire to initiate in small talk or catch up with extended family because we don’t really know each other and probably won’t stay in touch any more than some kid I went to school with that I haven’t seen since graduation day. Apparently, I inherited my mom’s observational gene rather than my aunt Angie’s social butterfly personality.

It was still alright though. I had fun spending time with my cousins and got some much needed vitamin D. We were rained out on Saturday night though so my hope of a relaxing firework show wasn’t in the cards. We packed up our tent as quick as we could and headed over to my grandma’s house (with 16 of my beloved relatives) and waited out the storm. Happy (belated) 4th of July!

P.S. I designed the Foster Family Reunion t-shirts on CustomInk.com. They have awesome customer service and an easy to navigate website. I will definitely order from them again. The only thing I was bummed out on (because I’m a perfectionist) was that the larger the size, the graphic size stayed the same. I think the graphic could have been a little larger on some of the bigger sizes.

Bye Bye Bemidji

A belated but better late than never goodbye to Bemidji.

Hi, my name is Ori and I’m addicted to…moving? I’m not. I really hate moving but the facts don’t lie. Since moving out of my parents’ house at age 19: I’ve packed my things 12 times, lived in 6 cities (if you count Viking as a city), moved home twice and to my brothers once.

It’s definitely nothing to brag about. Quite frankly, it’s kind of embarrassing that I can’t find my footing anywhere I land. And it’s not like I’ve lived in 6 different cities around the world. They’ve all be within a 2 ½ hour drive of one another.

We moved to Bemidji last October for what I thought was the last time before “settling down” as they say and buying a home. But that was also 2 moves after I thought I was where I was going to be. We did our best to fully embrace all that Bemidji had to offer. I transferred within the company from my job in Grand Forks.

It’s a beautiful city and a handful of lakes are around the area. That’s what lured us in, the lakes. We don’t agree on many things but one thing Channing and I could always agree on was living on or near a lake. We worked with a realtor and looked at dozens of houses all hoping that “life” would work out in our favor.

Some would say that we didn’t give it enough time. I can see that I guess. But how much time do you give a place before you decide yay or nay?

Since leaving the house going into my 2nd year of college, I haven’t lived anywhere for more than 13 months. My shortest stint was 3 months in a shitty trailer and even shorter when I moved back home and to my brothers place.

I think if I was a single adult, some of my choices would have been different and I’m sure I’d be in a totally different area of the world, pursing a totally different career path, who knows. But I’m not living the single life and I’m glad I’m not.

I’ve made sacrifices being in a relationship, I think you have to. There is no world where you always get your way. Those that think so are full of shit and should end up alone. Life..love..they require compromise and it goes both ways.

Moving to Bemidji was a mutual decision. Channing wasn’t super happy with his job in Forks and there was an opportunity for me to transfer within the company I already had dedicated 2 years of my 20-something adult life to. I loved the people I worked with, but I needed a change. I wasn’t growing professionally where I was and there wasn’t any room for me to from my point of view.

We didn’t do the “research” when moving. Our thought process followed something like this:

  1. Ori can transfer, that’s great.
  2. We’re going to live in a beautiful city surrounded by water.
  3. This feels right.
  4. We don’t know the job market for Channing but it’ll be okay. Trust that it all will work out.

I mean, it kind of did. I’m not going to lie. It was a pretty city. I liked my job for the most part. Our realtor was one of a kind. We were pre-approved for a mortgage loan, ect ect. But it just wasn’t right, none of it felt right. Channing made just as much as a 16 year old working at McDonalds and finding an employer that offered health insurance for him was a bitch. We were pre-approved for a loan but it didn’t get us anywhere near what or where we wanted.

We’re not settlers. We have no interest in getting a fixer upper. We have no interest in living in a shitty neighborhood or an arm’s length away from our neighbor. Some will say we’re too picky but are we really?

So we talked and we talked and we talked some more. What are we going to do?

It was scary moving to Fargo. But exciting. Channing applied at a load of places and landed a pretty decent one. It was a tough but not so tough decision to move. I’m a pros and cons type of person so believe me when I say that I had my notebook with list after list of why we should or shouldn’t stay. There is so much more to every story ever written. Some people understand and some don’t. It is what it is I guess.

The decision was made and we jumped ship.

Fast-forward a month or so later, we’re now living in West Fargo and became cat parents. I transferred (thank you Lord) through the same company I’ve been working with the last few years, Channing found an alright job and we’re doing well.

House Hunting Happenings

Sorry that I’ve been a little MIA lately. I have a few posts that I have sitting in my drafts waiting for me to finish. They are the type that I feel need time and effort put into them and I just haven’t had that laying around lately!

We’ve started looking at houses in the Bemidji area. It’s not an easy task, I can tell you that much. I don’t know if we’ll ever feel that we have all the information that we need to own a house. It’s like this whole world of grown-up-ness that you have to jump into without knowing how to swim.

Millions of people do it, I’m sure we can handle it. It’s scary though; mortgage, escrow, down payment, house inspector, wood stove….the list goes on. My dad thinks I’m too picky, he’s probably right. For the first few weeks, if I saw a baseboard heating register or a wood stove – NEXT! And for (in my opinion) completely sane reasons. First, I do NOT want any critters, rodents, or snakes for heavens sake to come through a register. (Yes, it’s happened and yes to me.) And second, I’ll probably somehow blow my house up or set it on fire if I have to rely on an actual fire in my house. Thanks for that, mom.

I’m trying to keep an open mind though. I know that with regular maintenance and actually taking care of and knowing the house that you live in, horrible circumstances should be far and few in between. Channing and I are ready to own a home though. Apartment living got old the second we signed our first lease years ago. No privacy, no creativity. I’m tired of white walls and not being able to have a pet or a yard to lounge around in. I want something to call my own and I can “screw it up” any way that I want!

We’ve looked at a few the last couple weeks and they’ve been alright but nothing that makes us want to jump on it right away. We have time though. Our lease isn’t up until the end of October so if all goes according to plan we can figure something out by that time. Hopefully not too much sooner because we (being unestablished beings) couldn’t possibly afford a mortgage payment and rent. Right?

I downloaded a few realtor apps including one called Zillow. Whenever there is a new listing, I get a notification. 21st inventions are cool. Am I right? Anyway, check out this link and let me know what you think. When I saw it, I was like “perfect!” It was one of those “this is it” moments. We’ll be looking at it tomorrow and sometimes photos are deceiving but based on the provided information, it’s the closest to what we’re looking for in comparison to others we’ve researched that are in our budget.

Stay tuned..

The Yearly Cliché.

A couple years ago, I wrote about not making New Years Resolutions but instead making smaller goals each month to try and stay on track. It worked for awhile just like every other variation of a resolution does. But somewhere along the way, it quietly vanished.

This year, I’m going to revert to the more cliché version of a set of resolutions. Some I’ll succeed at and some I won’t. Most of these are very realistic. Some are a stretch but with the proper guidance, I know I can succeed. To make up for a really crappy couple of years (2011-2012) I want to do a little traveling. Of course, I want to travel the world but in order to succeed at fulfilling my New Years Resolutions, I’m going to be a bit more realistic.

  • Create a realistic 5-Year plan. I’m 25. I’m not married, have no children, nor do I own a house. I want to do all of those things in the next 5 years. I’d like Channing and I to sit down sometime soon and prioritize our needs and wants both as a couple and on the professional front – to create a plan and stick to it. I also plan on making a personal 5-year plan that will lay out my personal interests and hobbies which may or may not include writing a book, Pinteresting my way into home shows, and traveling to England, Paris, and Ireland.
  • Lose 50 pounds. Since June, I’ve lost about 33 pounds. It’s been a little rocky and I’ve gotten off track since moving to Bemidji but I’m determined to continue my progress. 50 pounds is very realistic if I use the tools I’ve been given. Ideally, I want to push myself to double that number in the year 20-15. I know 100 pounds does seem unrealistic but given how much I actually need to lose in order to become healthy, it’s a blip on the radar screen.
  • Travel around the area. This is a long one..Because I first need to lose a substantial amount of weight before I feel comfortable purchasing ONE seat in airfare (rather than 2); I decided that I’m going to travel via car this year. Traveling further than I can drive will be one of my many rewards after losing more weight. I want to travel to all the border states/countries of Minnesota. I’ve listed a few specific places. Some I’ve been to, some I haven’t: Duluth, Gooseberry Falls, Grand Marais, Grand Rapids, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Superior, Brainerd, Red Wing, Wisconsin Dells, and Sioux Falls just to name a few. I’d also like to go somewhere in ND other than Fargo or Grand Forks, stop at a few other places in SD, and venture to Iowa. Where in Iowa? I have no idea. Included in the Minnesotan borders is Canada. I don’t know where specifically but I’ll head that way too! I’d also like to visit as many waterfalls, caves, and state parks as possible. I want to be on the water, sail, and visit lighthouses. I love to explore.
  • Don’t Pass Up Good Events. This is something I’ve done a lot. Sadly, I’ve had a handful of oppertunities over the last few years to go and do something but I either used a bad day, Channing’s mood, or money as an excuse not to do something or go somewhere. A few things on my bucket list this year given that they are within driving distance and things aren’t sold out would include: Seeing Taylor Swift in either Fargo or St. Paul, Bo Burhnham if he ever gets his ass to tour around here, and a Vikings football and Twins baseball game. I don’t really like either of those sports to any kind of extreme but I think a professional sports team would be interesting to see live and because my boyfriend likes sports, we both win. I should also probably make a point of going to the MN State Fair this year too since I’ve never been.
  • Buy A Passport. I believe I need one these days in order to even go to Canada so it’s a must-get for this year. If I’m not mistaken, they are good for 10 years too so that should get me set for my European venture in a couple years.

There you go! I have quite a few more resolutions which primarily fall in the first resolution so I won’t bore you with them quite yet. I’d love to hear about your New Years Resolutions! The realistic ones and the far-fetched ideas. What are you going to do to make this year one to remember? Also, if you have any fun or must-see places that you’ve been to in the region, let me know. Word of mouth experiences are the best places to visit.

Cheers to 20-15!!

Ciao.

IMG_7036This weekend was full of fun. I will try to spare you on all the rambling on details but it was nice to do something out of the norm. Not that my weekends have been “normal” or anything. I am pretty aware of the fact that I live a “dull life” in comparison to many of the people that I interact with on a daily basis. I’ve actually been busier than I’m used to over the last few weeks though. But if you’ve been keeping up with my blog or twitter feed, you already knew that.

We had a nice yet unexpected dinner with my aunt on Friday evening. And we also went to visit my SO’s niece and nephew which was a blast because they are both at such fun ages. I remember growing up and my Uncle Troy seemed to be always present in my younger childhood days. Moments with him were some of my favorite growing up.

We haven’t always had the opportunity to connect with our niece and nephew as often as we’d like to have in the past but are making a great effort to do so as much as we can presently. It’s a good feeling.

Bw-obAeCcAErsTdSaturday was full of JC, shopping, a baby shower for Channing’s sister and some good ol’ quality visiting time with my mom. When days are jam packed with thing after thing after thing, it seems that there are never enough seconds in the day. I loved every bit of the weekend but I wish that I could have spent more time doing each thing because it seems like an hour only last 20 minutes these days.

Oh, and my mom, brother, and I went to get our hair done at my aunts salon in Halstad. (This is a different aunt from my Friday venture.) I wish I had a picture of my moms new do as well because she looks great!

Does time go faster than it should? I began to notice that each day seemed to go a little faster when I was in 4th grade. I don’t know what the particular event was but I know that I was at school and I all of a sudden felt like the day zoomed by. Around that time, I must have become more concussions of the measure of time.

As I’m proofreading this post, it’s kind of silly I guess. To lay out what I did on my weekend. It’s actually kind of boring. I just felt like writing and really don’t have anything specific to write about.

Actually, I do have a couple things to write about but I’m working through how to construct the posts. I have some blurbs of thoughts down but nowhere to go with them. We’ll see what happens. Ciao.

Warroad Warriors.

Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 10.31.20 PMIf you’d like to read about this ridiculous coalition that is threatening not only the Warroad Warriors but other pride rich communities in the United States, click here. I wish rich white people (the ones threatening the lawsuit) would stop acting like they are helping the American Indian population and let them stand up for themselves. If they have an issue with a mascot in a city of less than 2,000 people they can speak up for themselves which in this case they have and they are in full support of the Warriors symbolism not only on the school mascot front but as an entire community.

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