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Transparency

Transparency is both a wonderful thing and a scary thing. It can leave you feeling vulnerable yet let out a sigh of relief. It’s been in my nature to allow boldness to lead me when I express myself, and to let the worry come afterwards.

So to be transparent with my readers, I’d say this…

Moving away from all we have ever known has been a much-needed breath of fresh air, yet the hardest thing we’ve done. We’ve moved away from all our comforts, our routines, our connections, and the little house we poured our heart and soul into to make our own. Making sacrifices is sometimes the only way to obtain those things you cannot put a price tag on.

The much-needed breath of fresh air came with each mile we drove; further and further from the nonsense of jobs we loathed. Jobs that provided stable income, great insurance, and could be lifelong.

But those jobs were not us. Those jobs we left a month ago, drained us of spirit and laughter and left us eager to clock out at the end of our shift to pick up where we left it; with each other.

Luckily for us, we are quite compatible and love each other’s company more than anything. I think we have a pretty special relationship the way we both lift one another up and truly seek to bless each other with unconditional support of each ones dreams, goals and endeavors. I think it’s made us richer all along to have such a blessed friendship turned marriage. I can honestly say that I get to spend life alongside my best friend.

When I said “I do”, I meant it. The part for “richer or for poorer” never made more sense then it does now.

I’ve never been more financially poor in my life. It’s been quite a wake up call not affording some of the things I’ve become accustomed to, and at the same time, I’ve never felt more rich. Now, I have the one thing I felt all along was the best commodity anyone could have; because I never had enough. Time!

I finally, after years of working, get a taste at being a stay-at-home mom. I wake to my children and prepare a fresh loaf of sourdough. I am able to prepare intentional meals and do my loved from-scratch cooking. There’s time to read, to take walks, to play. It brings my heart such joy. Our surroundings are something out of Narnia with the vast rivers, forests, and wildlife. I do not take those for granted.

But of course, along with that, I wholeheartedly miss my friends, my roller derby league, our kids’ elementary school, our rad neighbors, and our amazing church. Nothing can replace those.

Why the move? It’s with life’s short season that I want us to die knowing we put our heart and soul into trying to follow our dreams and bless others by the gifts God instilled in us.

Yes, I believe he has our route all mapped out, and uses us regardless. But, I also think he knows our hearts and desires. Through happiness, sorrow, good times and bad, faith led us.

As faith leads us now, and on our tomorrow’s, I only hope that this time we have on this journey, allows us to grow more deeply as a family, more committed to one another, and allows our dreams to be fulfilled.

Because as the saying goes, life is too short. My good friend Jackie who passed away from cancer, reminds me of that daily, and it’s with each minute that tics away, that I attempt to use my time wisely.

Now, off to make peach galettes with cashew cream with my daughters. Glorious sun-kissed, vine-ripened peaches from the orchard. Recipe to follow. Peaches not included.

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Gard’s Goodbye

Not much to post here in the ways of food lately. We’ve been super busy trying to finalize the stitching to our sweet home so that someone else feels super blessed to move into it. As a family, we have been living out of a cooler for well over a week now. On one hand, it feels like this rocky boat ride is almost over and we will soon set anchor, but I honestly think the boat ride will actually begin when we depart.  Really, what we have been doing for the last few months, is preparing for the ride; emotionally, spiritually, physically, and mentally.

In our best Gard efforts, we find this last week to be ultimately one that is both enjoyable and one that is full of accomplishments.  Nothing gets done by itself, and you must maintain being pro-active even when you feel like throwing your hands up in the air, and hiding beneath the bed to shield yourself from frustration.

We Gard’s wanted a lasting fond memory of our home; one that set the tone for our leaving and one that said something about us as a family. Our annual bathtub photo began just shy of 6 years ago.  Our home was much like a blank canvas, but was also the worst on the block.  Needless to say, the head high weeds in the yard was just the obvious of what needed fixing. Having a baby 1 1/2 days after moving in, was really quite an adventure.  It was not having hot water for 5 weeks following the birth of our second, and trying to remodel a dilapidated home, that really set the tone of our strong characters; smiling through the process.

Our bathroom was one of our first remodels.  We were so proud of it, and absolutely thrilled it was complete, that we chose to use it as the setting for our first Christmas card, in 2008-our new home. It has remained as our Christmas card photo locale.

With our departure so very near, we want to say thanks to all those who have come across our paths. We have truly felt blessed by our friendships. Thank you for giving us your time, and for enriching our lives.

A Little Piece of Joy!

Arrived home today, to take my afternoon dose of frozen chocolate chips as a pick me up before my sun soaked run, and was throughly delighted to see the new camping items arrived.

This will give me more wind in my sail for this jog I’m procrastinating. I love exercise; I hate heat. Maybe that’s why the great northwest appeals to me so much.

Some girls are excited by diamonds. I on the other hand feel my heart beat more rapidly and that inner grin when I’m surrounded by outdoors and camping “toys”.

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Three Arch Bay

The monument men saved art during the war, and I have a bit of my own history worth saving.

During my process of transcribing my children’s growth chart, that is penned in along the wood trim in their closet to a transportable board, I began to reflect on how stressful the last few months have been.

As weird as it feels to be living amongst boxes upon boxes and our comforting home now echoing, I also feel relief.

Some folks move suddenly and don’t go through as arduous pondering on their decision making. Having made this decision months ago, I’ve had lots of moments of anguish and feelings of doubt. Mainly, this was all due to the things and people I love so dearly that we are leaving behind.

I attribute this wait to strolling down the sandy beach with some of my best buds, with Three Arch Bay as a destination. The rock tunnel leads to scaling rocks to private pools, which then leads to a stretch of ocean you need to time correctly to get to the other side of more rocks you must scale, just to lead you to a rocky platform overlooking a 2 1/2-3 story high drop.

As you gather amongst your friends, some jump quickly and others linger either to enjoy the glorious view or because they’re afraid. The longer you hover there on that edge, glancing below, the harder it gets to make the leap. More doubt creeps into your mind.

But, if you don’t think too long, that jump into the frigid ocean below is rejuvenating and exciting. The brisk swim across the kelp filled lagoon to the shoreline, reminds you the trek was well worth it. This is especially true if this reminds you of how your marriage proposal happened.

The time has exceedingly sped up the last two weeks. That doubt that was stagnant is now obsolete and the anticipation of adventure far out ways the fear.

I know my love affair with California, is not busted. But, I look forward to entangling myself in the beauty of Washington and all it has to offer.

I believe this is a leap of faith; a jump worth the wait.