I am so excited to share this big news!
I haven’t always loved the outdoors.
I was always the kid who would be forced outside to play, and then instead of running around, I would sit and read… because technically I was still outside.
I loved nature, I just didn’t like camping. I HATED camping. I didn’t like the lack of showers, good food, warmth, or books. I wanted a cabin… not a tent.
However, as I got older I have really started to fall in love with the outdoors, and with being out in nature. I love hiking and camping now. Nature has started to become a place to relax and reflect, that alone has made me slowly but surely fall more in love with camping.
Zach and I have recently started to go camping more often. We want to work up to a backpacking adventure, but we are starting small with camping trips where we don’t pack out all of our stuff in order to try new gear and refine our skills.
One of the pieces we bought was a tent. We bought a 3 person tent that was light-weight, easy to assemble, and perfect for us.
However, it took us a bit of time to get to the end result of buying our tent.
Buying a tent is a big deal. There are so many options and variants to tents that it is overwhelming to know where to start.
For Mr. Yell and I, we just asked ourselves 4 important questions:
How many people do you want to fit in your tent? Do you need a family size? Do you want a two person tent? How much room do you take up as an individual? How much space does your gear need? For Mr. Yell and I, we really wanted a two person tent. We wanted something small so that less area would be disturbed. However, once we started looking at our needs, we realized the 3 person tent would be better. This way we have plenty of room for us, and our gear.
Mr. Yell and I are slowly getting into backpacking, so for us the answer was NOT heavy at ALL. We wanted something light and easy to pack, this way we have room for other things like… food. This narrowed down our options considerably since we wanted a pack around 5 lbs and no more than that to conserve space and energy when on the trails.
Again, since we are starting to make tent camping a bigger part of our lives now, durability was a major factor. We wanted to buy a tent we could use for a few years and not just a season. This meant looking at what our tent was made out of and how it was put together.
How much set up?
Like most people our answer was “None. No set-up please!” But also like most people we realized we don’t live in a fantasy world and will have to set up our own tent. Since I am not a master at puzzles and Mr. Yell and I knew we didn’t want to freak out over instructions, we really wanted a tent that took under 15 minutes to set up. We wanted easy and quick so that when we do start backpacking for longer hikes, we don’t have to waste much energy on our shelter. The tent that we ended up choosing promised a 10 minute set up time and it is definitely fast! The poles are already connected by bungie cords and the hooks are twist and snap to attach the poles to the fabric. Definitely a win for us!
Just remember: buying a tent can be a pretty serious commitment because of the cost, so don’t be afraid to take your time when looking, be sure to ask questions of yourself about what you want vs what you need, and ask others questions as well.
Much love. Much grace.
I had so many goals for when I turned 23 last year.
It is a tradition for me to make fun little goals for myself each year on my birthday to try new things or do more of what I enjoy. This year, I accomplished some but not all my goals could be scratched off the list.
This year I want to set different types of goals.
I want to set more meaningful goals.
I am continually growing in my goal setting because not only would I like to actually accomplish goals, but I also want these goals to bring me closer to a larger goal. Whether the goal is to be healthier, gain traction in my career, or find a way for my dreams to take shape, all of these larger goals need smaller more reachable goals. So this year I am setting realistic “themed” goals for myself.
- Become more creative in my teaching.
- Be more knowledgable in my content area.
- Let go of anger.
- Try not to expect perfection.
- Be the hands and feet of Christ.
- Take my vitamins when I need to (like an ADULT)
- Drink more water (like an ADULT)
I am excited for what this year will bring for me and for my family. We have some exciting adventures ahead and I can’t wait to see how they all turn out!
Bring it on 24!
Much love. Much grace.
So here is the deal.
Women make up 50.8% of the United States population.
100% of those women have (or have had) periods. (gasp! WHAT? Yes, it’s true.)
Unfortunately, not all of these women have access to tampons. Or pads. Or any type of feminine hygiene product of any kind.
In fact, thousands of women in the United States live on the street. These women have to make choices about food, water, and shelter each day… and at times they don’t even get to make the choice between pad or tampon. These women go without feminine hygiene products; or worse. Sometimes these women only have the option to choose one item each month; which causes toxic shock syndrome or even death.
This is a serious problem in our country and in our area. There are a number of organizations rising up to help with this issue (listed below). But there are ways that you can be involved too.
If you live in North Louisiana, you can donate to a ministry called The Hub. This outreach in Shreveport, Louisiana donates items, classes, and time to those on the street and one thing desperately needed is feminine hygiene donations.
If you are in this area, please take the time to consider giving physical boxes of feminine hygiene products or monetary donations that go directly to this cause. If you have some boxes you would like to donate but don’t know where to go or cannot make the drive, I will be donating all the boxes I can on March 4th. You may contact me if you wish to drop off your donations. Please join me in serving the women in our area. By donating these items, pads and tampons are no longer a luxury, but a right to hygienic living and dignity for these women.
Much love. Much grace.
Organizations Specific to Feminine Hygiene:
Feel free to fill out the contact form if you have questions about dropping off donations.
I’ve noticed that there has been a bit of tension online. I mean, obviously with campaigning for the Presidency, the election itself, and then the inauguration, there was bound to be tension.
However, the tension really seemed to erupt on my social media outlets the day of the Woman’s March. Many people were supportive, yet there were many who were bashing the women marching. I read posts people wrote about how marching was a waste of time because women have everything we could ever need or want here in the United States. I even saw a very popular post stating that feminism itself was a waste of time because women already have everything they need.
Feminism is a term that is considered negative and full of distain for men. Many men and women view Feminism as a “down with men” movement and a hatred towards the opposite gender. Feminism is mostly seen through the 1970s lens of bra-burning and man-hating.
This type of Feminism is NOT today’s Feminism.
Currently, the United States is going through what is called the “third wave” of Feminism. Wave #1 was when women were marching for the right to vote. Wave #2 was when women marched in the 1970s with a focus on careers. Wave #3 is the time we are in now.
Women are fighting for equality.
Not just equality of genders, but equality across racial lines. So that men and women of any skin color can make equal pay. So that men and women of all colors can feel safe in work environments. So that equal pay and safety are no longer privileges, but a societal right.
Yes; I know many women in other parts of the world don’t have the rights we do here in the US. However, the USA is a developed country. We are supposed to be the “Leader of the Free World”, and yet women are not paid the same as their male counterparts.
How is this equality?
I’ll give you a hint: It’s not.
So sure, you don’t have to be a feminist; but to be a feminist is to want equality. Feminism is not a bad word, it is a hopeful one.
If you want equal pay, you are a Feminist.
If you want your daughter to have the same academic opportunities as your son, you are a Feminist.
If you want your daughter to not have to worry about sexual harassment at work, school, or on the street, you are a Feminist.
I believe all this things and want to see these things happen in my country. You know what? That makes me a Feminist… and that is not a gross thing to be.
So, let us come together in hope of a changing world; for our sons, daughters, and ourselves. Let us work towards a brighter future by embracing what Feminism actually is… not what we are scared it might be.
To those who actively marched: thank you. For change is not brought about by one person in an important chair, but by the groups of loud voices calling for change.
Much love. Much grace.
Mr. Yell and I have been enjoying the outdoors more and more lately. If you happen to follow my Instagram, you might have noticed how I am making it more about being outdoors. I realized recently that I hadn’t quite done that here on the blog.
I will post more about the trips and hikes Mr. Yell and I take; as well as the gear we use. We’ve been researching, trying, and buying gear for a while now, so it’s about time that I share these things with you all. Not to mention the places we visit and enjoy.
“A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints.” — Wilfred Peterson
I am excited to share this new and incredible part of my life with you all. I love that I am getting to share more about my thoughts on the beauty of this earth and the gear Mr. Yell and I use to see it all.
Much love. Much grace.