Monday, February 22, 2021

366-days of Alex James: 1-year-old!

Our son, Alex James, turned 1 on Feb 20, 2021! This is 366-days of “face-a-day” photos... what a year it has been (leap year!). He has been our light through COVID-19 and the biggest blessing for our entire family. We prayed for 2.5-years for this baby, and the last year since his arrival has been an adventure every day. We can’t believe he’s already ONE! He can walk, can sign several words (sign language), says “Mama” and sometimes “Dada,” has the best appetite of any baby we know, and loves exploring his little world. We couldn’t be more grateful to spend each day raising our giggly, drooling, smart boy—“THE GOO!”

In hindsight, I’m grateful for this video spanning almost every single day of the last year (I think I missed 3-4 days total). However, also in hindsight, I’d never recommend taking on a year’s worth of “face-a-day” picture taking... it was a lot of work! If you're wondering what I'm up to these days--raising this boy is it!!! 

We sure love our little man... Cheers to many more firsts!

Friday, December 25, 2020


Love ♥ Daniel, Annelise & (officially introducing) Alex Rowe 

Despite all the craziness that 2020 has brought with it, this last year has been the most fulfilling year of my life. I have waited so long to be a mom, and now it it my most important and all-time favorite job. My husband and my baby mean more to me than anything... I am finally serving my life's purpose.

If you've checked in over the last year and have noticed my lack of posts, that's how it's going to stay for the time being. I love soaking up each moment I can with my family and don't intend to share our lives across this platform anymore. If you're curious, yes, I'm still in the military full-time--as a Captain now (still in the same jobs), and I'm still actively posting on Instagram. I appreciate each of you who has read and followed along over the years. Wishing you all the best in 2021 and beyond! 

Past Christmas cards: 2011 │ 20122013201420152016201720182019

Friday, January 3, 2020

Life Update & Outlook

Hello friends. I thought it might be time for a small update, considering I haven't posted anything that wasn't travel or race related for... oh, you know--the last two years--that is if I've even posted at all. So if you're still reading here occasionally or possibly a new reader, thank you for your support!

Life as we know it has changed immensely. I'll give you a few quick updates on where we're at.

Job: I've been working full-time for the Idaho Air National Guard since June 2016 when I became a commissioned officer. I worked as our full-time Security Forces Operations Officer for about a year and a half while I went through all my initial certifications and training. I then transitioned to a "drill status guardsmen" (weekend warrior or part-timer) and accepted a temporary full-time job with our Wing's Inspector General shop in February 2018. I worked there for about 8-months before being hired into a permanent, full-time position as the Fighter Wing's Chief of Information Protection (CIP) in October 2018. That is still my current Monday-Friday job--overseeing personnel security clearances, as well as information, industrial, and physical security for our entire Wing.

I love being full-time in the military and I have no plans to go back to the civilian sector anytime soon.

Life: As you may have seen in my last post in December, Daniel and I are expecting a baby--due at the end of February. We don't know what gender we're having--baby will be a surprise! This is a story I could go very in-depth into, but it's our story, so here's the short version. We tried for two years to have a baby, had a miscarriage and a lot of struggles along the way, but we ended up finally making it happen after much heartache and lots of prayer. This is the biggest blessing of our entire lives, and we cannot wait for our lives to change even more in just a few short weeks.

This last year has also brought significant struggles (and triumph) with my mom being diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer and undergoing major surgery and chemotherapy to rid herself of the tumors. We documented her entire journey on Caring Bridge. When she was diagnosed with cancer it looked really bad and she was so afraid she'd never live to see her grandchildren be born. Surprise--we found out we were expecting the month after she was diagnosed!  Through months of heavy treatment, invasive procedures, and a new oral version of chemo, she is currently cancer free, and we can't wait for her to meet her very first grandchild in February.

Outlook: There's something to be said for free time—or lack thereof. I'm currently in a state where I'm a full-time wife, military member, recent Master's graduate (as of December 2019--woo!), and member of several committees, volunteer groups, and always staying active... not to mention that little bundle that's on the way for us next month. I just don't really have the time to dedicate to being online these days.

As the posts around here begin to dwindle (or stagnate), please remember you can always follow along on Instagram @Annelise Rowe (it's a private account so you'll need to request to follow). I'm trying to do things a lot more offline these days and I'm trying to live a lot more in the moment, so blogging and social media are just not quite as high on my priority list right now. I know you guys understand, you always do!

On November 10, 2011, I wrote a short poem, my first post on this blog. I still find this poem to be so fitting. But instead of making my impact online, I'm now focusing on making it in person, as a new mom, a wife, in the military, as a friend, with service before self, love, kindness, grace, humility, and a motivation for living life to the fullest that once again, feels like a new beginning. Thank you guys again... for everything.

The Beginning.
Though it seems like a new start,
it is simply a moment in time.
A small moment. 
A revelation,
to one soul,
who aspires to feel the depth,
the impact,
of herself on the world.
Though small, like a bird
she shall fly,
and show you just how high
she can soar. 

An original poem - 11.10.2011

Wednesday, December 25, 2019


Love ♥ The Rowes and Baby Rowe due February 2019

♥ —God is so good— 

Past Christmas cards: 2011 │ 2012201320142015201620172018

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Boise SPARTAN Sprint Race

Boise Spartan Sprint Race

Preface: As I'm getting around to posting this, it should be noted that we completed this race at the end of June 2019, and yet here I am sixty days later finding time to get it online. Ah, the life of a has-been blogger who is also a full-time military member, committee member, volunteer, part-time graduate student, traveler, wife, daughter of a mom with cancer, and avid Fantasy Football addict... we've had just a couple of things going on lately.

Now, I'd like to start by saying that this race was incredible for two reasons. First, it was Daniel's first race EVER (ever ever!) and I couldn't have been more proud of him for how well he did in it. Second, this race marks my first Spartan Trifecta earned, and I couldn't be happier to have ran a Super in April, Beast in May, and to finish it out with a Sprint in June! I am now part of the Trifecta Tribe--Aroo! 

This was also the first Spartan that I did not compete in. You know, I thought that I might be able to train for Elite Spartans and might have a chance at doing OK. And after doing both the Super and Beast as an Elite this year, I think with enhanced training and a different mindset, I just might be able to be alright at this sport as a competitive athlete. But where I'm at right now in LIFE is just not a place where this fits. I am just not "there" (and neither is my fitness level), so while that may have been a short-lived dream, for now I'm just embracing my fitness right where it's at. What am I training for? I'm training to be HEALTHY!

Daniel and I entered ourselves into the Age Group category, which is still technically "competitive," but we mostly did that so we could get a decent start time and hit the obstacles early enough before all the sunscreened hands and wet bodies mucked everything up. That decision was worth it! We started at 0800 and it was a perfect day for a race!

Boise Spartan Sprint Race

Now, I mentioned before that Daniel has never done a race before in his life. So this was REALLY cool to be able to share this experience with him. We stayed together the whole time and through the obstacles, and surprisingly I even had to tell him to slow it down a bit.

Boise Spartan Sprint Race

Clearly I'm having fun above, having just completed the rolling mud hills and completely soaking the lower half of my body. Spartans and BEING DIRTY is the MOST FUN!

Boise Spartan Sprint Race

The race course was laid out in a very cool way. It was set out at the Thomas Pence Ranch in Payette, Idaho, and while the first quarter mile of the course is on flat, low ground, shortly after the start you head up two significant hills and find yourself overlooking the entire Treasure Valley. Now that was cool! Most of the obstacles, minus the obstacle gauntlet along the last half mile of the course, were up on this huge plateau. It was scenic, serene, and so peaceful. Also, not trying to race for my life against other Elite athletes and just taking my time made a huge difference.

This course was very different than other Spartans I have been to. There were not many grip obstacles at all, and I was a little sad to not encounter Beater, the Stairway to Sparta (the new, hard one with the climbing pegs), Twister, Olympus, or some of the other ones that have the potential of either wrecking your hands or making you pay with 30 burpees if you can't complete them. To me, this course seemed significantly easier than both the Seattle Super and Montana Beast. But I guess that's what we get with a Sprint!

Boise Spartan Sprint Race

Not even an hour after we started, Daniel and I were jumping over the fire and crossing the finish. We had done it... together!

I loved this race for so many reasons, but mainly because it was the first time that I got to share something I absolutely LOVE (running & racing) with the person I love most! It was so fun walking him through the obstacles since he had never done any of them before, hearing him cheer for me as I followed behind him, and it was even fun doing burpees together after we both missed the spear throw. Truly, this race made me so happy and finally checked a bucket-list goal box that I've had to run a race with my husband ever since we met! Now I just need to convince him to do more! :)

Boise Spartan Sprint Race

The entire experience in Boise was wonderful. We saw so many friends, colleagues, and people we knew. And doing a Spartan in my home state in my home town was so fun--finally!

Boise Spartan Sprint Race

Earning my Trifecta this year has been a huge accomplishment. I display my Trifecta medal on my desk at work and it receives comments often. I cannot wait to try for more in the future (again, probably not competitively, just for fun). And the journey goes on...

My Trifecta Posts: Seattle SuperMontana Beast │ Boise Sprint