July 15, 2015

Dry Spell

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cQ8EeyROOrF9n8_BeFHEX0qQt782APn2rBI’m not sure what has become of this space but I know it hasn’t become what I envisioned it to be. I’m not sure what I want to do with it anymore. I’ve been dry for far too long. I could easily blame it on the fact that I’m a new mom but that’s just not true. I have time to write and create but I don’t as much as I would like to. I just feel too dry. I’ve been wondering for quite some time if I’m dealing with depression but I keep going back to it being my circumstances.

There’s just been too much change in too short of time. I’m lacking consistency big time. Once I get in the swing of things something changes again. We move, we change jobs, we have babies, we make new friends, we lose friends… I’ve come to realize that I thrive off of change just as much as I thrive off of consistency, a schedule, something or someone to count on. What am I supposed to do with that? 

I really miss feedback. Since we’ve moved around so much, I’ve not been able to establish a core community. No family nearby, no consistent job, no consistent group of friends… Often we get feedback from our jobs. A little over a year ago we moved again, I started substitute teaching and I was also pregnant. No one knew my name let alone knew that I was pregnant. I've heard people complain that others comment too much on their appearance when they’re pregnant but no one ever commented on mine except for the occasional stranger, I never saw the same people regularly enough. 

Now that I’m staying at home with my daughter there’s still no feedback. No one is here to say wow you’re doing a great job or be there when I need a break, some help or advice. It’s hard it’s really hard. I often feel trapped with no break in sight.

I’m trying to make peace with staying at home with my daughter but it’s not easy. I don’t want to be known as just a mom. I don’t want mom to become my name. I recently started throwing pottery again but I found myself not being able to focus and I was lacking inspiration. Having only random evenings when my husband actually gets off on time and weekends to devote to it makes me feel rushed and like I don’t have enough time to commit. I’m going to have to give it up yet again.

It’s amazing where our lives end up taking us. I’ve experienced so much in my life already and have enjoyed the unique opportunities that this blog has provided. I do want to continue blogging but I'm finding it really hard to keep giving. It’s hard to give when you feel so dry. I feel like I’ve spent entirely too long giving in so many areas of my life I just don't know how to keep doing it. It’s how I want to live my life to give expecting nothing in return. I’m learning it’s just not reality though it’s a basic human need to be filled back up again. 

Have you ever felt dried up? Is this just a season I’m going through? What are some things we can do when we feel all dried up?

April 29, 2015

Shrimp Curry

My new latest obsession besides my daughter is curry. I LOVE it! There are some excellent local restaurants to get it where I live. I'm amazed at how many varieties there are. I assumed curry must me complicated to make but I've been craving it something terrible and it's just not wise for us to go out all the time to get it so I learned to make some. I even attempted garlic Naan bread. That wasn't as hard to make either, although it's not quite the same as the authentic Naan we're used to, it's still pretty amazing.  I grilled up the Naan on the outdoor grill on high heat which really gave it that yummy texture. So far I've made a chicken curry and a shrimp curry. I feel like with curry there are endless possibilities. You can make it as hot or mild as you like, you can change up the protein or the veggies, it can even be made thicker or thinner depending how you like it. Have you made curry before? How do you like it?
Here's my recipe for Shrimp Curry. If you have reservations be BRAVE and try it, it's awesome! 

A bag of stir fry veggies helps this recipe go even quicker. If you have time though you can prepare any kind of veg you like to add to the curry. If you're not familiar at all with curry and where you can get the paste and powder. A lot of times they can be found right in your local grocery store or see if you have an Asian market near by. I finally found an Asian market near us and it's got such a huge selection and you can get things in bigger quantities.
Oh and about the obsession with my daughter. We've started Baby Led Weaning and it is SO MUCH FUN and VERY messy. She's only 5 months old and has even tried a little curry. I got a book from the library about Baby Led Weaning and it's got some recipes for how to make different curry pastes. I'm looking forward to trying that out and sharing it with my daughter. I'm really hoping that we can enjoy food together because it can be such a wonderful way connect.Let me know if you try the recipe!

March 25, 2015

Publish your Own Book

Shesh this took long enough... I got a new laptop the kind with a fancy touch screen and windows 8.1. It's been a challenge to figure out and I'm still learning. It gets confusing to go between touch screen and keyboard but it's fun. Let me know if things are looking funky so I can fix them.

I'm so excited to share with you the book I made for my baby girl. I received it in the mail over a month ago and have been dying to tell you about it. Considering I put it together right after I became a mom for the first time I feel pretty accomplished.

The writing started when I found out I was pregnant. I kept a journal of sorts in letter format to my baby. I always planned to capture photos along the way and combine them with the letters into a book. This is that book.
Since the birth of my daughter it's become really important for me not to store all our memories on a hard drive but have them available to enjoy. I've been printing more photos then ever!

I'm really happy with how this book turned out.  I used a company called Blurb to publish my book and also used the software they provide to create it. Have you heard of Blurb before? If not you will be so glad I told you about it!

The possibilities are endless with Blurb and the software they provide makes the process fun and easy. What I like most about the software is that you can really customize your book how you want. It's not the kind of program where you choose a template and plug in your photos and text. You can really customize every single thing. In my book I used some templates and also made my own. 
I wanted to have a variety of options for the pages in my book since some of the letters are much longer than others.
The pages can be filled with all text or all pictures, even a little bit of both.
When finished with your book you can choose the size of the book, cover style, and the weight/finish of the pages. You also have the option to turn your book into an electronic version or set it up to distribute and sell online. My book is personal so I don't intend to sell it but it looks and feels professional and not like a scrapbook. It's a book my daughter will enjoy for years to come.

I plan to order a second copy to store away in her memory box and this copy she can enjoy all she wants. I have lots of ideas for future books too. I need to get started on her 1 year book right away so that I keep track of all the memories we're capturing. If you just have a few minutes every day to work on it you'll have a book before you know it!

Until the 31st of March Blurb is offering a 20% off discount. Use promo code: 2015BLURBMAR

They are also offering 20% cookbooks! Click the banner below for that deal. I love the idea of making a cookbook, how fun! If only I had more time on my hands...


Disclaimer: Blurb did send me the copy of my book for free.

March 2, 2015

Our Dog Princeton

Today marks the day that we adopted our dog Princeton!  In April 2013 I wrote a post about him and his name you can read it HERE.  He's no longer the baby of the family and we've since moved back to Colorado. It's amazing to me how much has happened to our family in the 2 years that we've had him. To celebrate we all went on a snowy walk today.
This dog sure has filled our lives with a lot of joy!

February 17, 2015

Why I go Fly Fishing

I've really been missing this space. I've got an endless list of things I would like to share but unfortunately not enough focus to do it. My mind is constantly racing and with a new little girl taking up much of my brain capacity (and the memory on my camera) it's challenging to sit down and blog. This post in particular has been brewing in my mind for well over a year and it's time I share with you why I go fly fishing.
This type of fishing forces me to slow down. It's much different from when I was a kid and we stuck a worm on the hook, plopped our line in the water and waited. Fly fishing is very interactive. From the time we drive up to the water I'm engaged in the process. Slipping into waders, squeezing into wadding boots, setting up the rod all while taking in the environment. Is there a hatch happening (are there bugs flying around in the air)?  What's hiding under the rocks on the shore? Can you hear fish feeding? Do you see any ripples in the water? It's important to collect clues so that you can determine what type of fly to use. A fly is used as a lure which provokes the fish to strike, therefore it's important to choose a fly that resembles what the fish are interested in at the time. Should I choose a fly that will float on top of the water or one that will sink below the surface?

I'm far from an expert on fly fishing its an endless learning process and that's another reason why I enjoy it. You really don't need to know all the fly fishing lingo, names of the flies, specialty knots or all the different ways to cast in order to enjoy fly fishing. You just need the desire to learn, a fly fishing rod and a few flies to start. Oh and maybe a net in case you actually catch a fish. There are so many resources out there if you're interested. You can find information online like the "New to Fly" info the Redington site provides. There are tons of books at the library. You can even find classes and organizations that provide lessons.

Fly fishing is incredibly therapeutic. Being outdoors surrounded by the sound of water always refreshes my soul. Often when we go fly fishing we are out at a time we wouldn't be otherwise which means we get to experience things we wouldn't typically experience. I can remember waking up before dawn many times in PA and enjoying the sun and the fog rising above the fields and the water. The light is magical and the sounds of nature coming alive are extraordinary this time of day.
In Colorado we've gone fishing in the evening more and we've seen many beautiful sunsets. Being in the middle of the water also gives you a unique perspective. Fly fishing is a gentle, quiet sport which not only allows you to get closer to the fish but other animals too. We've seen all sorts of wildlife when fishing. I can clearly remember one evening as the sun was setting looking up at the bank and seeing the most striking silhouette of a buck.
If this sport wasn't therapeutic then there wouldn't be groups out there dedicated to giving people a fly fishing experience. One of my favorite organizations is Casting for Recovery. They provide free fly fishing retreats for women with breast cancer. I love seeing the pictures of these women and the smiles on their face when they catch a fish. I've also heard of amazing groups for veterans.

I find so much beauty and creativity in this sport. I never really thought much about insects before learning to fly fish and quiet honestly I didn't like them at all. Now I find them absolutely fascinating to watch, except for the pesky mosquitoes. It's amazing how flies are made so intricately and creatively to mimic specific insects. I've not learned to tie my own flies yet but I really want to use my husky dogs hair when I do.
Even the equipment is beautiful to me. My reel and rod are nothing fancy but I still love the way they look. I especially love seeing handmade rods; it's unbelievable the work that people put into making their own. My husband has his Grandfather's bamboo rod hanging in our guest room. It doesn't function well any more but it's beautiful to look at.
Of course one of the most exciting parts of fly fishing is actually catching a fish. I can remember my husband telling a story of catching a fish and describing what it was like to pull it out of the water, he said, "its like pulling jewelry out of the water." I didn't know what he meant until I pulled my first fish out of the water and observed it's shimmering scales up close. Each fish you catch is different and incredibly beautiful.
My husband is the one who taught me how to fly fish. He's also probably the main reason why I do it. It started out as a way to spend time together but it quickly became something I really love to do. We both learned when we were living in PA. We had a creek behind our house that was constantly inviting us to enjoy it's bubbling presence. Oh how I miss hearing that sound regularly. It wasn't long before any moving body of water was calling our name and we discovered great fishing very near to our house.
We've since moved back to Colorado where there is incredible fly fishing sometimes it just takes a little more work to get to.
We're still perfecting the art of fly fishing and every time we go out we learn something new. I didn't let pregnancy stop me from fly fishing and I'm happy to say that now that our little girl is here we still go. She's almost three months old and we just took her for the first time. I can tell she loves to be outside! Now is probably the easiest time to take her since I can just carry her and she sleeps through most of it. I'm so looking forward to teaching her one day!
You may be thinking how random of a blogger I am and it's true that I blog about a wide range of topics. I've come to understand that fly fishing is an art form and a type of creativity that engages and slows me down all at the same time. I share my experience with you as I do all my experiences to encourage and inspire. Maybe it's time you try fly fishing if you haven't before. Of course if you have please do tell I'd love to hear your stories.

For me there are so many reasons to fly fish other than having trout for dinner or having the biggest fish tale to tell. I do it because it feeds my soul and it's way for me to spend time enjoying something together with my family.

January 6, 2015


I've been making my own granola for a couple years now. I go through phases where I make it every week or I go months without it. I'm always happy though when I have a batch made up and I always say to myself it wasn't that hard and it's so worth it.
The best part about making your own granola is you control the ingredients. That means you can make it as healthy as you like or as inexpensive as you like. For me granola is always a better option over a bowl of regular cereal in the morning. It's always more satisfying. I often eat mine with almond milk poured over top but it's really yummy with yogurt too.

I feel like I finally perfected my recipe. The ingredients are usually dictated by what's on sale in the bulk section at the time. Once I found dried orange cranberries on sale and ever since I've added them to my granola, I love the flavor that they contribute. Another thing I've discovered about making granola is not to mess with it, just let it bake. Don't stir it at all. The only thing you need to do is turn it halfway through the baking time.
Granola also makes a great gift especially if you put it in a pretty jar. Here's the recipe that I use which has evolved over the years and will probably continue to. Just remember you can always change things up. Add honey instead of syrup. Use different kinds of nuts and dried fruit, maybe add some coconut. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

December 18, 2014

Introducing my Little Lady

It's hard to believe I'm a mom. Words can't express how incredible it is. It's amazing how quickly nothing else in the world matters. My little lady was born on November 20th we named her Aspen. She was 6 pounds 10.5 ounces and 19 inches long. Her arrival was only 1 day after reaching full term, she was a big surprise in many ways. We chose not to find out the gender so it was exciting when we finally found out the baby was a girl.
The experience of carrying and delivering her was wonderful. We chose to have her at a birthing center where they also provided all the prenatal care and education. The midwives there are so passionate about what they do and they prepared us really well. I can't imagine having a baby any other way. It was a positive, empowering and memorable experience. I would encourage anyone to really look into all the options available when delivering a baby and not just settle for the traditional hospital route.

My days since having this little lady have been very full. It's astounding how fast she's already changing and growing. I'm trying my best to enjoy every moment because I know she won't be this tiny and needy for long.

When my little lady was just two weeks old we took her to cut down her first Christmas tree. Some people were surprised that we would take our new baby on such an adventure so early, others wondered how we were even up to it. Cutting down our own Christmas tree is a tradition we've had while living in Colorado. It involves driving about an hour and a half through the beautiful Rockies to a National Forest station to get a $10 permit. Then we drive at least 45 more minutes to the National Forest and we hike through the woods to find the perfect tree. The distance we hike depends on the weather and snow. This year there wasn't nearly as much snow and the weather was perfect. We probably hiked in about a mile.

This was the best experience we've ever had, it was so much fun to have my daughter with us. I bundled her up tight and carried her in a wrap. She even decided she was hungry in the middle of the hike. It felt so good to be able to feed her right then and there and take care of her in that way. Being able to feed and nourish your child anywhere is one of the greatest feelings. I should have assumed I would breastfeed in the middle of the woods at some point but it still surprised me.
I know one of the reasons we were able to get out and about so early was because of the entire birthing experience. We went home only 4 hours after delivery which I know to some sounds insane. It allows you and your family to rest that much sooner and in the comfort of your own home. No one is constantly interrupting your rest by checking vitals. You get to immediately bond with your baby with no interference.

Since you go home so early the center requires a 2 day check up for the baby to make sure everything is going well, this is something they would typically do in the hospital. So we were forced to get ourselves put together only 2 days after having our baby and go to an appointment. I think that helped give us a boost of confidence. I'm a new parent so I'm constantly learning new things and trying to figure things out. Things as simple as dressing a newborn and knowing that her high pitched scream doesn't mean that she's in pain but just a little cold and uncomfortable. Everyday I learn something new and getting out the door with a new baby takes a lot more time.

I'm so happy you keep stopping by this space and care to read what I share. Just know that if there are times where I'm not around for a while I'm enjoying my little lady.

November 18, 2014

Linen & Medicine Closet Makeover

They say that nesting can be a pregnancy symptom. I would say that I've definitely got it big time. I've had it since the beginning. I feel like nothing is clean enough or organized enough. I've really had to try to let go of a lot of my expectations, like putting a fresh coat of paint on the entire upstairs. I'm thankful we got most of the downstairs painted and the nursery is just about how I hoped it would be. I honestly feel insane most of the time because I know it doesn't really matter. It's impossible to keep all the dog hair up and I'm sure a newborn really doesn't mind if everything is organized perfectly.

One of the projects I was determined to figure out was our linen closet. It has always had a weird smell to me and it's been a mess since we moved in a year ago. Ideally I would like to replace the shelves and line the walls with cedar but I don't have the time or energy for that kind of project right now. The biggest issue was the fact that the shelves were painted poorly to where the paint dried all drippy and then the previous owners tried to cover it up with rubber liners. They are the kind of shelf liners that feel sticky to the touch because they are made to keep things from sliding around and they stink something terrible. Although my husband says he's never noticed the smell.
This linen closet is where we keep our towels, extra toiletries and medicine. Our medicine has been kept in a variety of places over the years as we've lived in different kinds of houses. We've always kept it in one basket though. My closet project started with me organizing all the medicine so I forgot to take a picture of the disastrous before basket. I figured with a new baby on the way I wanted children's medicine to be separate and easy to find. It's amazing how much I found that was expired. I hadn't gone through that basket in a long time and it was all just thrown in there so we were never really sure what we had.

After I separated out all the medication and figured out how much room it would take up I got some materials to recover the shelves.
I found this particular material on a really good sale, I'm actually not sure what it is exactly, it's almost like a canvas. I think canvas or oil cloth would work wonderfully. I decided to recover the shelves in fabric using a staple gun and then apply trim to the front edge. It was pretty simple and fast.
The shelves feel and look much cleaner covered in fabric.
Once all the shelves were recovered I finished organizing the medicine and labeling all the containers. Then I put everything back in neatly.  
The closet functions so much better and it doesn't smell like rubber. I organized the medication into the following categories:

  • First Aid 
  • Pain & Stomach 
  • Allergy, Mouth & Cold
  • Supplements & Skin 
  • Ears, Nose, Throat & Mouth
  • Pain & Fever 
  • Tummy & Vitamins

There is also a container labeled Travel that has all the small travel size bottles and toiletries in it.
It was hard to decide how to categorize everything. You could certainly do this on a smaller scale and use less categories. The 3 drawers with bike tape are for children's medicine only. So far this system works really well.
When is the last time you went through your family's medication? I HIGHLY recommend it there's no telling what you'll find.

November 14, 2014

When Fall Meets Winter

When the seasons collide spectacular things happen. This year it seemed to happen a little early and a little extreme. Today made up for the last few days of arctic weather. It finally got above freezing and we were able to get out and get some fresh air.
I love the Colorado sun and blue skies. It always amazes me how quickly things can turn around and start to melt.
Although I think this may be happening just in time for another storm to blow in this weekend.
It was so good for us to get outside today and I wanted to test out my new camera lens. Everything always seems to happen at once. My main camera lens recently broke. It was very upsetting considering we have a new baby coming soon and I can't wait to take a million pictures of this sweet little one. Of course it broke right after we learned that we have a 3rd major car repair to take care of. Thankfully I found an awesome local camera shop that has used equipment and I got a new lens for a low price that wasn't actually even used it just came out of a kit. So far I think this lens will work just fine. 
I know most of the country has or is experiencing some unseasonably cold weather. 
I hope all of you are staying warm and take time to enjoy the collision of seasons. 

October 20, 2014

Dogs & a New Baby

I'm 33 weeks pregnant now and honestly feel like this baby could come any day. Is that normal? Of course I want it to stay in and continue developing as long as possible but I can't stop thinking that it might come early. So I'm slowing down and trying to rest more. Over the weekend I asked if my husband would get some maternity photos with me and my first babies. I often wonder how this is all going to work. Two active dogs with lots of personality and a new baby. Do you have any advice regarding dogs and a new baby?

My husband may have captured just perfectly what will happen with the baby comes. 
Just like they fight for their momma's attention I have a feeling they will fight over the baby. They will think the baby belongs to them and them only. This could be very interesting.

As the pregnancy gets further along the dogs seem to be more and more attentive. I am checked on regularly through the night with a wet snout which never happened before. When I wake up to go to the bathroom multiple times in the middle of the night I hear a click clack on the hardwood behind me and find a dog right at my feet. When I leave them outside they cry at the door because they want to come in and make sure I'm okay which never used to happen, they would live outside if they could. I can only imagine what kind of zoo our home will be once the baby arrives. I can only hope it calms down after a while. 

October 16, 2014

Book Review Giveaway

In the last post I shared my review of Expectant Parents. The company that gave me the book is now promoting a giveaway. You have a chance to win an iPad Mini or your own copy of the book. Click below for more details on how to enter the giveaway. Good Luck! 

Expectant Parents Focus on the Family Suzanne Hadley Gosselin

October 13, 2014

Expectant Parents book review

Since I've been pregnant with my first baby I've read and soaked up all the information I can get. There are so many different methods and options of doing things it can be overwhelming. Some people even say why bother reading anything at all you'll never be prepared. I read because I do find it fascinating and I suppose it's like a security blanket. When I was given the opportunity by litfuse to review a book called Expectant Parents by: Suzanne Hadley Gosselin I jumped at the opportunity. I was fresh out of reading material, I think I've read or at least skimmed everything on being a new parent from my local library.

The book Expectant Parents is a fast read. It has a lot of similarities to many other parenting books I've already read. Although it does have a few of it's own unique features. One thing that sets this book apart is that it is a Christian book. There is a common theme of being Christ centered and the importance of praying for your new baby and family. One unique feature I enjoyed about this book was the variety of personal stories that were intersperesed throughout. These were stories that the author compiled from different people with their own unique set of circumstnaces.

I could see this book being a great jumping off point for conversation between couples. Each chapter has a section of questions titled "time to talk." Some of these questions really got me thinking and were sometimes things I'd never thought of before. This book offers lots of helpful tips for new parents such as how to use scripture to specifically pray for your baby, what are the important items that you need for your baby and what is essential to pack in your hospital bag.

Expectant Parents is definitely geared toward new parents and would make a great first book to read. The author's positive and encouraging tone is uplifting. I'm sure it's true that nothing can really prepare you for being a parent. Although it doesn't hurt you to educate yourself as much as possible while you have some time.

I received a copy of this book from litfuse to review. If you are interested in getting your own copy click the link below.


October 9, 2014

Birch Bark Wall Art

When we were in the Boundary Waters (check out the last post) we noticed many beautiful Birch trees that had either fallen down or had peeling bark. I never knew how amazing this bark was. We have Aspen trees in Colorado but I'm not sure the Aspen's bark is as versatile as the Birch's. Birch tree bark can be used for all sorts of things and can be harvested without permanently damaging the trees. We found some bark to take with us and I knew that I wanted to incorporate it into our nursery somehow. We have a nature/woodland theme going on and I thought the bark would be perfect.

I decided to cut the bark into strips and weave them to make a piece of wall art. Then I remembered that I had the perfect frame. It actually came from our 1st house and was part of a light fixture. It's a rustic metal piece that I couldn't part with and knew that I would find the right use for it someday.

I love the way this piece of art turned out! If you want to do something similar you just need a few things:
You could use any type and shape of frame for your weaving. It's always fun to hunt for those at the thrift store.

Here's what the back looks like. I basically just put a big blob of hot glue down then attached the bark in a pattern.
It fits in perfectly with the collage of critter pictures we hung above the changing dresser.
Birch tree bark is so much fun to have on hand. Do you have any Birch trees near you? Next time you have the opportunity make sure you collect some of the bark for creative projects.

October 6, 2014

I survived the BWCA 24 Weeks Pregnant

BWCA commonly referred to as the Boundary Waters is a wilderness area between the Canada and United States boarder. We didn't get into Canada on our trip. Instead we drove from the Denver, Colorado area to Wisconsin, to pick up our friends, then through my favorite parts of Minnesota which included Duluth then ended up at Sawbill Outfitters where we began our Boundry Waters Adventure. You might be able to imagine that the over 16 hour car ride alone was a challenge for this pregnant lady.
What's unique about this place is the vast network of waterways, bogs and islands. Which is very different from our experiences camping and backpacking in the mountains of Colorado. We've taken many trips with the same core group of friends. One of the couples from this group is originally from Wisconsin and moved back a few years ago. They grew up going to the Boundary Waters area and we all thought it might be something fun and different to experience together.  There are many challenges that come with a trip like this especially when it's a new experience to you.
For example instead of hiking everywhere you paddle everywhere. Getting started at an Outfitter is the perfect way to go when don't have your own gear for this type of trip. It sounded so luxurious to think of not having to carry weight on my back and to just sit there and paddle. It ended up being a lot of paddling and it definitely gets challenging when your muscles aren't used to working that way. It doesn't help when your husband takes frequent breaks.
Another obvious challenge is that there is Water Water Everywhere. This should be obvious right? You really can't get away from it. This is actually a shock to the system when you're not used to be surrounded by water at all times. It's a very wet area that can get rain for days. When you finally reach a portage, this is where you've got to cross over an island with all your belongings to get to water again, you may experience copious amounts of mud. I can remember one portage in particular where I sunk down in mud up to the top of my thighs. Yes I screamed and no I couldn't get myself out. I needed help big time.
As a result of the very wet environment this area is a heaven for bugs. When I say bugs I mean the biting kind. There are tons of mosquitoes! Which apparently weren't as bad as usual when we were there but I'm super sensitive to their bites. If it's possible to imagine anything worse then tons of mosquitoes think of biting flies. Those flies were really bad at times. They tended to bite our ankles and feet with relentless gusto.
One of the main challenges to being around water at all times and using it as your mode of transportation is keeping what's important dry. We all had dry bags that sealed our packs off from possible rain or capsizing. Using my camera was challenging since I had to keep pulling it out of it's protective dry bag usually while balancing in the canoe and hoping with everything inside me that I didn't drop it in the water.

Food was another challenge of this trip. People make it sound like you can take anything because you just put all the weight in your canoe, it's not like you have to carry it on your back. It was different for my husband and I because we knew that whatever we brought would have to be carried when we got to portages and me being pregnant meant I couldn't carry as much weight. Not to mention I've had absolutely no food aversions and have LOVED to eat during this pregnancy. Especially during this time in pregnancy I was always hungry and I did need a few more calories with the extra activity I was doing. We decided that freeze dried meals for dinners was the way to go since they are so light weight. I briefly read the nutritional ingredients but mainly focused on the protein and was happy to see that it had plenty. For breakfast we ate oatmeal, dried fruit and Bay Bread. For lunch we had peanut butter or tuna wraps. Snacks consisted of cuties, dried fruit and trail mix. I think we had cheese on the first day or so too.

Here's a little warning to pregnant chicks planning to do outdoor activities for days at a time. DON'T eat freeze dried meals for days in a row! When we got home from the trip I started experiencing very severe pain in my foot in particular the big toe. I thought it was the strangest thing. I would just be laying in bed and the pain was unbearable. I went to the doctor, they took blood work and nothing came back. So then I went to a foot specialist where they said I had Gout. They took an x-ray to rule anything else out.  The foot specialist said that because I'm pregnant I process foods at a slower rate and I went from a very healthy balanced diet to suddenly eating high sodium rich foods for 5 days in a row. This caused a rare Gout attack. It was the craziest thing! Do you know those freeze dried meals average around 800 grams of sodium? I wish I had thought about this before the trip.

Even though this trip had it's challenges which I could probably keep going on an on about. It was a great experience! I'm sure many of the challenges were magnified because of lack of experience with canoe camping and the fact that I was 24 weeks pregnant. I will say that if you are in your 2nd trimester that's the best time to do activities like this and I know in my case it makes my body and soul feel so good to be active and outdoors.
Some of the best parts of the trip were the breathtaking sunsets,
the foggy mornings,
enjoying the unique plant life,
hearing the sounds of wolves in the night and the frequent eerie call of the loons,
swimming, relaxing and basking in the sun,
seeing bald eagles so close
and of course spending time with friends.
If you haven't been to the Boundary Waters before you should go. It's such a unique experience!