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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Four Questions To Ask When Tent Shopping

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 Big?

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.

How heavy?

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.

How durable?

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!

 

Four Questions To ask when shopping for a tent

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.

Happy camping!

Much love. Much grace.

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Mr. Yell and I with our TN3 Tent

This Summer: Come Home

Home… Such a funny word. For some, this brings memories of family in cozy rooms, yummy food, and welcoming smells. Memories of fights between siblings, traditions for holidays, and getting ready for school. For many people, home is wear they grew up; a town, a house, a school, or a city. To “come home” is what a person does to visit their childhood room and show visitors their teenage haunts around town.

Home [hohm] noun
1.a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household.

2.the place in which one’s domestic affections are centered.

For me (and many others)… home is different.

In the traditional sense I don’t have a “home”… and I never have. I have never experienced the giddy feeling that one attaches to a building. I moved around several times in my childhood so houses, even towns, don’t really provide me with warm, fuzzy feelings of “being home.”

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The closest I have ever come to feeling at “home” in a place is with climates. I feel at home in cool mountain air or when smelling a cool, salty ocean. Smelling evergreens and feeling cool breezes through my hair are things that feel at home to me. I am not entirely sure why, but places with these things are places where I feel not just relaxed, but a sense of belonging and purpose.

Since I haven’t lived in that type of a climate since I was very young, home to me has since become the people in my life.

Not family as much as the friends who have surrounded me. My family has always been very spread out, so while that family is obviously there and loving, the friends I have made have become family.  Those who have taken the time to know me and love me, even at my worst, these are the people who enable feelings of comfort and “coming home”.

So this summer, take some time to figure out with whom your home lies, and come home. Take time to visit with those who love you and care for your well-being, and be home to those people as well.

Much love. Much grace.

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