Thursday, January 16, 2014

Ward Hooper Art

Ward Hooper Art, Ward Hooper Boise Idaho

My favorite artist in Boise—without a doubt—is Ward Hooper. Daniel & I own several of his Boise State prints, and for Christmas, my mom worked with Ward to design the beautiful custom print above—inspired by a photo from our wedding day. This new piece hangs right in our front hallway and is the first thing you see when you walk in the front door. It's a print that we'll treasure forever and is truly so special to us.

Check it out—below is the original photo and the print commissioned from it.

Ward Hooper Custom Print Art, Ward Hooper Boise Idaho

Isn't Ward amazing? My mom worked very closely with him to get the colors and little details right. Ward can turn any photo into a custom print. Look at this one that he did of my brother Stew and his Quidditch photo!

Ward Hooper Custom Print Art, Ward Hooper Boise Idaho
Ward Hooper Custom Print Art, Ward Hooper Boise Idaho

My sister received a commissioned print from their wedding, too, but hers has such a different feel than ours... it's so romantic & vintage!

Ward Hooper Custom Print Art, Ward Hooper Boise Idaho

Needless to say, my mom totally surprised us all with some neat, neat art.

If you're local to Boise, be sure to stop in Ward's shop in downtown Boise. You can visit his website here and connect with him on Facebook & Twitter, and here's his gallery information:

Ward Hooper Gallery of Art
745 West Idaho Street
Boise, Idaho

And that is why Ward Hooper is my favorite artist. Boise is lucky to have such a talented man!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Joy to the World

Daniel and Annelise Rowe

The only thing better than Christmas, to me, are all the days that surround it. Family all together, joyous times to be had... it's just a jolly celebration around the Rowe & Driflot households.

Over the past several days, we were blessed with the generosity of our families... they are far too nice to us sometimes! We also ate the most delicious food, including Cincinnati chili at my dad's on Christmas eve, eggs Benedict at my mom's on Christmas morning, and ham and green bean casserole at Daniel's parents on Christmas evening. Our bellies were full and our hearts were happy. I'm so grateful for all of our families... they make this life so special.

Hope you all had a joyous Christmas celebration. Sending out lots of love today!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Tidings of Great Joy Christmas Card, Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! This is our 2013 Christmas card... I can't wait to gather these over the years & display them in a lovely little Christmas album. My family's tradition was to take photos with Santa each year (this was our 28th year!). Daniel & I are starting our own tradition with our little 5x7 Christmas cards. It's one of our favorite holiday pastimes to browse through our Christmas album and talk about the outfits, the photos, the memories—oh, the memories! Here's to new memories in the making...

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Love ♥ The Rowe's

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

McCall Anniversary Trip

Shore Lodge McCall Idaho

This last weekend, Daniel and I escaped Boise and headed two hours north to McCall, Idaho, our favorite getaway spot. Last year, we spent our honeymoon in McCall at the Shore Lodge, so for our first anniversary this last Sunday, we thought it would be fun to go spend a couple nights away—just the two of us.

We sipped hot cocoa every chance we could get, dined at some of our favorite McCall spots (Steamers, Paradise Burger, Growler's, Stacey Cakes, and of course—The Pancake House), watched football while overlooking the lake, warmed up in their lakeside hot tub under the icy rain, battled at the Foosball table, and even watched a few movies! It was a wonderful anniversary celebration.

Shore Lodge McCall Idaho
Shore Lodge McCall Idaho
Shore Lodge McCall Idaho
Shore Lodge McCall Idaho
Shore Lodge McCall Idaho
Shore Lodge McCall Idaho
Growlers Pizza McCall Idaho
Growlers Pizza McCall Idaho
Shore Lodge McCall Idaho
Stacey Cakes McCall Idaho
Shore Lodge McCall Idaho

One year. Amazing. This is just the beginning!

Monday, December 2, 2013

I Joined the Air National Guard!

Idaho Air National Guard

On Wednesday, November 27, 2013, while surrounded by my family and with my hand raised in front of the American flag, I enlisted in the Idaho Air National Guard. This decision has been a long time in the making, and officially--I did it.

This begins a whole new & HUGE chapter in our lives. Daniel, who is coming up on 11 years in the ANG, has been one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to join. The Guard has done wonderful things in his life (it brought him to Idaho!), and I'm ready to go with him hand-in-hand on this new venture.

Of course this means some big changes for me. I am going in as a traditional (weekend drills only), so I get to keep my full-time job at the hospital, which is just wonderful--it's like the best of both worlds! But, as you can assume, since I've joined the military, I will have to go away for some training. I don't know dates at this time, but I do know that the training involves spending 8 weeks at Air Force Basic Military Training (BMT) in Texas, followed by another 6 weeks of tech school in Mississippi.

We are so excited for this, because we know it is the right thing for us and our future. For me, it's a whole new career set that I'll develop and that I couldn't get anywhere else. It's a wonderful addition to add to my resume, and I know it will help build me as a person. For Daniel and I, it is a step to help set up our future together. And, last but not least, I get to serve our country! This is such an amazing opportunity for us, and we are running fast after it with so much excitement. This is it! 

Idaho Air National Guard
Idaho Air National Guard
Idaho Air National Guard
Idaho Air National Guard
Idaho Air National Guard

We have been talking about this for such a long time, and I'm so excited that I finally did it. And it wasn't easy! The test to get in, the ASVAB, was a pickle (though I did end up scoring well, thank goodness). The 4-hour physical was another trial. Wading through the paperwork and the forms and the questions and the unknowns... it's all been a lot... but finally, I enlisted and this begins a whole new chapter. I'll be learning everything as I go--it's all new to me--taking in each moment, and loving this new opportunity that is going to bring great things. I'm just so excited.

If you have questions about the Guard, which I'm sure you will, please don't hesitate to ask them below. I hope you'll join us in our celebration of this new step & journey in our lives.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Our First Anniversary

Winter wedding
Winter wedding
Daniel and Annelise Rowe

A year ago today, Daniel and I were married in the most beautiful winter wonderland setting at our church. We were surrounded by family and friends, and we felt the love from our entire congregation—since we had our wedding at our church, we made it an open invite ceremony—and it was beautiful, fun, so special, and a big, giant party.

One of the best things about our marriage is that it was built on the strongest foundation possible. We have God as our center—our rock. Through him, we know we can do anything and that nothing can divide us or tear us apart. When we know we love the Lord first and foremost, he teaches us how to love each other and how to be better for the other person. Like every couple, we've had trials over the last year, but with God, we were able to get through them and the love we have now is stronger than ever. We couldn't do it without Him.

I can't believe the last year went by so quickly. We have changed immeasurably, helping each other become the new people we are today. We make each other better people. We are best friends. We love spending time together, making big decisions together, and building our lives together. This may be the end of "year one," but it's just the beginning in the story we're writing as we go.

I love you, Daniel. My best friend. My leader in the Lord. My husband. My other half. My sweets... I love you.

Daniel and Annelise Rowe

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thank You, Veterans

Idaho Air National Guard

Today is the official day to celebrate and remember our veterans, though I am thankful for them every single day. They protect us and our country with honor, perseverance, strength, and hearts to serve others. Each service member sacrifices so much to carry this honor for our country, and I'm so thankful for each and every one of you.

Much of my family is in the military. Daniel is a Tech Sergeant and recruiter for the Idaho Air National Guard and will hit his 11-year mark in January. His brother Adam is also in the Guard, his brother Ian used to be in the Guard, and their Uncle Lenny is a retired Air Force Master Sergeant who used to work on nuclear missiles. Updated to add, thanks to Aunt Linda: Daniel also has three other uncles who are in the military as well. His Uncle Bob, who just recently passed away, was a Marine, his Uncle Bill served in the Army, and his Uncle Mike was a Marine in Vietnam and was presented the Congressional Medal of Honor by the president. He single-handedly took out a cave full of snipers in Vietnam to save his men. He is still active in Veteran Honor Guard and other activities.

On my side of the family, I have several relatives who are in the Army. My uncle is a retired Colonel who was the Commandant at both West Point and the Citadel. He also worked at the Pentagon for sometime. He commanded troops in Desert Storm, Iraq, Germany, Bosnia, and Korea. He is so amazing. I also have five cousins (one is retired) and two cousins' husbands in the Army. I am so thankful for each one of them and the service they provide to our country.

If you're a veteran—thank you. Thank you for giving up so much for us & our country. Today, I salute you.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Village At Meridian

The Village at Meridian in Meridian, Idaho

On Monday I posted about one of the best new restaurants to hit Idaho, the Yard House. It is planted right in the middle of The Village at Meridian, a new center-point of town that's located only about 5 miles from where we live. The Village just had its Grand Opening last Friday and it's unlike anything we've ever seen in Idaho. It's so not Idaho, in fact.

The Village has awesome restaurants, some of which include: Yard House, Kona Grill, Chipotle, Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill, Big Al's (which also has a bowling alley & arcade) and my favorite little sandwich shop, Which Wich. The shopping is also great with stores like Loft, White House Black Market, Francesca's, Gap and Nike. Bonus—our favorite gym in town, Axiom, is also setting up shop, so I can't wait to get my sweat on there once it opens. They also have a public market on Saturdays and a cinema.

The Village at Meridian is also the best new free outdoor concert venue in the area. There was a big concert last Friday, and last night when we visited Kona Grill for happy hour there was another concert playing some hot Monster Mash hits.

And—yes, there's more—since it's in Idaho and there's room to spare, there's also Kleiner Park, which spans over 58 acres and features Bocce ball, basketball courts, play fountains, volleyball courts, fishing ponds, community gardens, and acres upon acres of open grass to use however you may please. You won't find a park like that in a big city!

The Village is just gorgeous with its big, beautiful trees, strung lights hanging from the trees and buildings, outdoor lounging areas and warm fire pits, and the center fountain (which was done by the same people who did the fountain at the Bellagio in Vegas) has hourly music & light shows that make any trip worth it. Check out some of the photos of The Village at Meridian below.

The Village at Meridian in Meridian, Idaho
The Village at Meridian in Meridian, Idaho
The Village at Meridian in Meridian, Idaho
The Village at Meridian in Meridian, Idaho

I'm so excited for this brand new Meridian hot spot. It's pretty busy with all the new action right now, but if you can find yourself a comfy couch and fire pit to hang around while you enjoy the sights and sounds at catch the water show, it's such a great place to be.

This was NOT a sponsored post. I'm just an Meridian resident who is in love with the new little part of town. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Yard House

Yard House at The Village at Meridian, Idaho

Friday evening, the Yard House opened at The Village at Meridian, and I was grateful to be invited to attend the Grand Opening celebration. I was given a reserved table, so Daniel and I invited our good friends Casey and Erica to try out Meridian's hottest new spot. As I was running around taking photos, I bumped into our other good friends David and Katey as they were walking in, so we invited them over to our table... the more the merrier!

The Yard House didn't officially open to the public until 8:00 pm, so we were there to preview the location and try samples of their most popular dishes. We sampled their ahi poke, firecracker wings, seared ahi, Korean BBQ beef, chicken garlic noodles, spinach cheese dip, summer salad, cheeseburgers, egg rolls, crab cakes—the list goes on and on! Everything was absolutely delicious, and I'll tell you what—we didn't think we'd be able to get full by simply eating "samples," but they just kept coming and coming. Their staff was on point and the food was so delicious! For dessert, we were treated to mini crème brûlées, and I'll be honest with you, I had two... they were absolutely divine!

The evening was spent over laughs and good times, and delicious delicious food. If you're local to the Boise area, give the Yard House a visit—you won't be disappointed. I know Yard House has locations all over the United States, so chances are pretty good that there's one near you if you're not in town.

Yard House at The Village at Meridian, Idaho
Yard House at The Village at Meridian, Idaho
Yard House at The Village at Meridian, Idaho
Yard House at The Village at Meridian, Idaho
Yard House at The Village at Meridian, Idaho
Yard House at The Village at  Meridian, Idaho

Thanks again to the Yard House—the food was delicious, the service was amazing (Bree, you spoiled us!), and we are all anticipating a return visit. Thanks for making The Village at Meridian the place to be!

Monday, October 14, 2013

City of Trees Marathon

City of Trees Marathon, Mom and Daughter running a marathon together

We did it! After 18-weeks of training, we finished the City of Trees Marathon! And not only did we finish, but we ran the entire race, talked the whole way, high-fived and thanked every volunteer we could, and enjoyed every little moment—even the ones that hurt!

We began running at 8:00 am sharp right in downtown Boise and traveled all over the city, from Southeast Boise to the North End. We even ran by the zoo and got to see the giraffes as they ate their breakfast. Daniel and his parents were along for the ride and met us every six miles or so—taking photos, cheering us on, and giving us high-fives. They were the best cheering section! We also saw some of our friends at mile 4 (thank you, Kari & Gregory!), and we had a big cheering crowd at the end to cheer us across the finish. What a blessing it was to have each of them there... it really helped the time go by faster and kept us in good spirits to know we would see familiar faces every hour or so. I can't even begin to tell you how much it helped. It's what kept us going!

As far as the race goes, we finished in 4:03, in 80th and 81st place overall out of 250, and 33rd and 34th out of the women. My mom even got 3rd in her age group! We had some killer-fast (for us, anyway) miles, completing them in 7:45, 8:00, 8:15... they felt great. Our average mile was about an 8:45, which is much faster than the 10:00 minute-mile we had trained at. But ouch... our last 2-3 miles were just dreadful and we clocked them in at around 10:30 minute-miles. We were so tired! We talked & laughed all the way through mile 16, and around mile 18 my feet started to hurt. By mile 21, we were both pretty tired but kept churning through the miles, and I had lost pretty much all feeling in my feet at this point. At mile 24 we were both just done. We wanted to be finished so badly, but still had 2 more miles to go. When we saw the finish line, we held our hands above our heads in a "We did it... FINALLY!" expression of joy, and we didn't care about one single thing except for the fact that it was over!

Post-race, I drank more little cups of Gatorade than I ever though possible, Mom got stung by a bee (of all things... seriously) while waiting for a free massage, and we joked and laughed with the friends and family who came out to support us. When we finally got to have some lunch, I downed a giant hot chocolate (it was heavenly!), and barely choked down 1/3 of a cheeseburger. I was not hungry at all... I just wanted a nap! And let me tell you... that post-race nap was the most glorious nap. Oh, it felt good!

You know, I don't know if I'll ever do another full marathon again (half marathons are where it's at!). I enjoyed the experience... but not that much. But it was definitely something that I am glad I did & I'm even more glad that it's been checked off my bucket list. One and done, right?

Here are some fun photos from the race, with captions underneath. Enjoy!

City of Trees Marathon
Staying warm before the race.
City of Trees Marathon
Heading to the starting line. Our outfits were BRIGHT! 
City of Trees Marathon
Ready to run!
City of Trees Marathon
And we're off!
City of Trees Marathon
All smiles at mile 6... this was right after the biggest "hill" of the race. What an awesome course it was!
City of Trees Marathon
Cruising through mile 12 on the greenbelt.
City of Trees Marathon
Mile 18—we started to feel it here, but you couldn't tell based on the smiles we had for our cheering section.
City of Trees Marathon
High-fiving Daniel's dad through the pain at mile 21, overlooking Boise.
City of Trees Marathon
It didn't matter what mile it was, I was excited and dancing through all of it. This was mile 21.
City of Trees Marathon
THE FINISH! 26.2 miles in 4:03... we did it!
City of Trees Marathon
Daniel was the biggest trooper the whole day. He was so proud & gave me many sweaty hugs and kisses afterward. I think he was just as glad that we had finished (and that the training was finished!) as we were.
City of Trees Marathon
Our post-race support group. Thank you Sean & Sydney, Daniel, Adam, Dan & Michelle, and Alan for coming out to cheer us across the finish line!
City of Trees Marathon
Reppin' our official City of Trees medals & sweatshirts.
City of Trees Marathon

THANK YOU AGAIN to Daniel, for being there through all the training & for coming and supporting us through the entire race—I love you so much! To Daniel's parents, who were the best darn cheering section I've ever had! For all of you readers & friends who encouraged me & sent sweet prayers for the race—I didn't feel my two injuries once during the entire race! And most of all, thank you MOM, for being my training partner and for giving me an 18-week experience I'll never forget. It's so special that we share this hobby together. I love you, Mom!

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