December 31, 2012

2012- The Year in Review

This year we have a lot to be thankful for. This year we finally realized a dream that had been in the making for over 5 years. That dream never had a clear and concise picture to it, but the main elements were freedom and adventure. I can honestly say this has been the most memorable year of my life and I am really happy that I got to spend it with my best friend. Over the twelve months we have made leaps on our understanding of each other, ourselves and the world. I feel that I have grown as a person. We have wondered if we will look back on this year years from now and say "remember that amazing year?". I actually kind of hope we don't. I hope next year will be just as exciting and that we will continue our adventures with the same sense of freedom and excitement as we have this year.

December 27, 2012

How We Spent Our Christmas

This year we added a new tradition to how we celebrate Christmas. For years my dad had dreamed about building a lake house on Beaver Lake and at the beginning of 2012 he finally found the perfect piece of land. Just as we set off on our adventures in February of this year, my family broke ground on their new home. After nine months of careful construction, the dacha (how we say weekend home in Russian) was complete. This year we ate Christmas dinner with this view:

December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

We have so much to be thankful this year! Soon I'm going to sit down and recount all the amazing adventures we've had the chance to explore this year. We have been truly lucky to have had the opportunity and each other.

This Christmas we received many wonderful presents, but there is one in particular that I am most excited about:

December 19, 2012

Born To Run

Over the last couple of years I've been told numerous times that I should read "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall. For whatever reason I imagined it to be a boring and dry book about proper running posture and training techniques, and refused to give it a try. So recently, on my trip the to library, I was perusing the non-fiction section and accidentally came across the book. I figured I had the time, so why not finally give it a try, so I added it to my check-out basket. On my way home I stopped by a cafe and cozied up in the corner with a cup of coffee. I was immediately captivated by McDougall's writing style, and only when I looked up from the book to refill my coffee, did I realise that I had been completely zoned out of my environment for the last two hours.

December 15, 2012

Hiking at Lincoln Lake

There are many gorgeous places to hike around Northwest Arkansas. With the Ozark Mountains in our backyard and the Boston and Ouachita Mountains just down the road, we Fayettevillians have plenty to choose from in terms of places to roam for the day. One of the lesser known gems in the area is the set of hiking trails around Lincoln Lake, which can be found on the outskirts of the little town of Lincoln, just west of Fayetteville. One can get there from Fayetteville in under an hour. There are two single track trails there that go around the perimeter of the lake, through pretty forest. Hiking and mountain biking are both allowed, and I have also heard there is great bouldering to be found just off the paths.

December 13, 2012

Home Cooked Goodness!

Sky took advantage of having access to a fully stocked kitchen the other night to make us an awesome meal. We'd bought fresh brussel sprouts earlier in the week and he was excited about cooking with them for the first time. He sauteed them in a red wine, golden raisin and purple onion concoction, and then sprinkled the finished product with crispy bacon. He also cooked up quinoa and baked a filet of salmon. He kept the salmon simple by just squeezing some lemon juice and sprinkling dried dill on top. We served the meal with a fresh bottle of red wine and it was super yummy!

December 11, 2012

Biking Around

This week I picked the coldest day yet to bike to the local library. The average temperature hovered around 30 degrees all day. I wore a face mask to protect my face from the wind and probably looked like a goofball biking around downtown, but at least my cheeks were spared! The bike ride wasn't long, just 9 miles from my parents house, but by the time I arrived there my toes and fingers were nearly frozen solid.

December 08, 2012

Cool Runnings

The other day I met a fellow running buddy at Lake Fayetteville for an early morning trail run around the lake. She had somehow coerced me to meet her there at 7:30 in the morning. After waking up and drinking my cup of coffee though, I felt great! I remembered this great feeling of accomplishment that I used to get from early morning runs. Running 6 miles in the morning, before anyone is out of bed (well, we did used to run at 5:30 in the morning, it was more applicable then), is one of joys I get to myself from running. I wasn't even sure I'd be able to do the full lap around the lake, as most recently running 3.5 miles on the treadmill had all but killed me, but it went beautifully.

December 05, 2012


We picked up a month long membership at the local athletic club while we're home for the holidays. The club is less than a mile from my parents house and offers something we've been dying to try- Hot Yoga classes. It also has a 25 yard, 6 lane swimming pool. I barely got to swim while we were on the road this year, so I was really looking forward to finally getting some laps in. Yesterday afternoon, after working on Christmas presents in the morning, I went to the club after lunch and had an amazing swim. I had the pool all to myself. It was EPIC.

December 02, 2012

The Comforts Of Home

Now that we're home, I'm finding all kinds of things I didn't even know I missed when we were living in the travel trailer (aside from the three I already knew I missed). The fact that I didn't miss them is probably a good thing, it made for a more content life on the road, but it sure is nice having these things accessible now. Here are some of the things that bring random happiness to my life right this moment: