30 Before 30: Hike up a mountain (#26)

I recently wrote a blog post about making 30 goals for myself before turning the big 3-0. When I wrote that list I started to get a bit worried… I am already 24 so I don’t have the FULL decade to finish, but I have been trying my best.

I have already completed one! #PraiseHandsEmoji

#26. Hike up a mountain.

When Mr. Yell and I went on our road trip up here to Seattle, there was one hike I was adamant about completing: Avalanche Peak Hike in Yellowstone National Park.

I had been researching our trip for months, and when I found pictures of the hike, I just couldn’t forget about it.

I am not very athletic, and I am honestly a quitter. If things get hard or I feel uncomfortable I just quit. So for me this mountain represented so much. It was a challenge to myself to set a goal and complete the goal completely.

Guys, it was so worth it.

Finally reaching the peak after 2 hours of climbing steep trails and shale was the most incredible feeling. I felt so proud and honestly, somewhat amazed, of what I had done. It unlocked something inside of me that I didn’t know I had… That I can do it.

I can hike up a mountain. Crazy right?

All this to say: if there is something you want to try, but aren’t sure if you can do it, or if you “know” you can’t… do it anyway.  It may take you 2x, 5x, 10x longer than anyone else, but when you complete it, there is no better feeling.

Much love. Much grace.

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**Want to know more about my outdoor adventures or trips? Head over to my newest space: Adventures with the Yells

 

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30 Goals Before 30 Years Old

I recently read a post about a woman who recently turned 30 years old and was very enthusiastic about the new decade in her life. She wrote a post about 40 things she wanted to accomplish in 10 years before her 40th birthday.

Since we have moved, I have been wanting to try new things and discover more about myself and this has been a bit overwhelming. So when I saw her list I was pretty excited myself! I have 6 more years until I am 30 and figured that setting some goals could help me to be on track for this new stage of life and self-discovery. Putting things into writing helps keep me accountable and on track for goals, so here we are.

Here are my 30 before 30.

30 Before 30

  1. Go snorkeling.
  2. Visit Hawaii.
  3. Learn to surf.
  4. Make the perfect vegan mac & cheese.
  5. Go to Alaska.
  6. Go snowshoeing.
  7. Buy hiking boots.
  8. Find an organization and become a regular volunteer.
  9. Hike the Wonderland Trail in Mt. Rainier National Park.
  10. See a West Coast sunset.
  11. Host a cute, classy, Galentine’s brunch.
  12. Roast a whole turkey on Thanksgiving.
  13. Visit Thailand.
  14.  Go to Canlis in Seattle. (Fine dining)
  15. Get a tattoo from Tenderfoot Studio in Portland.
  16. Buy a house.
  17.  Find time to regularly have “creative time” for painting and writing. (once a week or every two weeks)
  18. Sell one painting.
  19. Go to PAX in cosplay.
  20. Find a job I enjoy.
  21. Renew my passport
  22. Go on a cruise.
  23. Go to Europe.
  24. Retake couples pictures.
  25. Dye my hair ombre/baylage.
  26. Hike up a mountain.
  27. Visit Portland.
  28. Write a creative short-story.
  29. Host a Friends-giving.
  30. Start composting regularly.

I may not blog about every single thing, but I will try to break down the goals by time. I have 3 more months in this year (2017) and there are some things I know I can finish by New Years.

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2017 Goals

  • See a West Coast sunset (#10)
  • Hike up a mountain (#26)
  • Make perfect vegan mac & cheese (#4)
  • Visit Portland (#27)

 

What do you think? Do you have goals for this decade? What about this year?

Much love. Much grace.

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New Adventures for the Yell’s!

First of all, #NotPregnant because that is literally the first thing anyone asks me. So no, not pregnant but still excited about this big news!

 

New adventuresComing soon!

 

Mr. Yell and I have decided to move to Seattle, Washington in August! Zach has been accepted into grad school in Seattle and we have been wanting to move there for quite some time, so we are taking this incredible opportunity to go on a new adventure.

 

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We have been planning and preparing for this new part of our lives for a over a year and I am so excited to finally share our plans with everyone. We are both so very excited for this new chapter and doors that are opening for both of us as we venture westward.

Please feel free to share any advice with me if you have any, I will definitely take as much as I can, and if you are in the area, hit me up! Let’s be friends!

Much love. Much grace.

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To the Girl Who Feels Empty

I have been an empty person in the past.

I know that I can be an optimistic person, full of love and joy and seeking friendship… but it isn’t always like that. There have been times when life was hard. So hard. There were days that turned to weeks that turned to months that at one point even turned into a couple years where I felt numb to the core. Not because I desired to be that way, but because… well, I don’t really know why. I just know that at times there is such deep darkness that it feels impossible to imagine the light, let alone see it.

I keep journals, I always have. My journals are raw and embarrassing, and I don’t really like to share them with anyone.

So it’s hard for me to share this.

Sometimes sharing our past pains can help others, and even ourselves.

“I feel numb.

I can’t feel happiness or even sadness.

There’s nothing there. Not a care about anything. I’m just numb and empty.

I want help, but I don’t at the same time. I have gotten used to the loneliness that it somehow feels more like a friend than friends do.

Searching for things to fill the empty space in my chest… in my life. It’s just such a deep emptiness… can he fill it? Can this job? Can anything?

Praying to the empty sky for the numbness to ease into feeling, but to no avail.

Will I forever be empty and numb?”

Those words, those heartbreaking and somewhat tragic words are my own. At a time in my life when I was feeling so dark and alone, and I couldn’t seem to grasp onto anything. All the things I had or wanted were slipping by. For a while I tried to catch them all, but then I became used to the weird numbness that I felt.

I am sharing this with you today to let you know that I am a believer in Christ and I have suffered with emptiness. I have struggled with things you can’t imagine. Darkness and sadness and panic and fear and anger and so many things.

Life is not easy, and if anyone tells you that, they are lying.

But.

There is hope.

Even in the dark times when I couldn’t imagine love or light or even an emotion… There was hope for me. Even if I couldn’t feel that hope it was so there. I clung hard to that tiny, barely a sliver of hope. I clung so hard just waiting to make it to the end of the emptiness. Praying and waiting and hoping and clinging with every part of my being.

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Eventually the feeling did come back. Such a force of emotion I had not felt in so long washed over me and I felt compassion and love and joy and sadness. It took a couple of years, but it came.

And there it was.

The light. The hope shining brighter than ever. The grace and mercy I had longed for was there as it always had been in Jesus Christ.

We don’t always feel His love, but it is there in a major way.

It is there for you too. You who struggle with depression or whatever your darkness is now. That tiny speck of light that you try to see and cling to is there. Even if you don’t see it yet.

Life may get worse before it gets better, but there are bright days ahead; even if it doesn’t feel like there will be. I know this for a fact.

Much love. Much grace.

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Girls Like Me

I’m not like those other girls. 

I don’t like make-up or heels.

I don’t eat a salad to lose weight.

I eat cheeseburgers. I eat french fries. I like to eat sweets. Because….

I’m not like those other girls.

Those girls who cheer.

Those girls who have to be the most popular or perfect.

Those girls who are catty and mean.

The one’s who  contour or waist train. I’m not like that…

I’m not like those other girls.

Who don’t like sports.

Who don’t like comics.

Who don’t like video games. I can’t hide who I am, you guys…

I’m not like other girls.

I only make friends with guys because there is less drama.

I HATE drama.

I HATE when other girls judge me.

I would HATE to be like those other girls.

But what if… those other girls are actually just like me. 

Those other girls like the things I do, but don’t say so.

Those other girls feel judged by the make-up they wear or the games they play.

They only have friends who are boys because they don’t feel like they can be friends with girls…

Because they aren’t like other girls.

Other girls… like me.

Galentine's 2017

We aren’t that different after all. We are all trying to be special and unique, when all we really want is to be with each other. The more special we try to be, the more lonely we become. There are other girls like you, and like me. Let’s join forces and make a community, instead of convincing ourselves that other people aren’t like us.

Much love. Much grace.

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