Monday, September 8, 2014

Whidbey Island 2014

Whidbey Island beach

My favorite place in the entire world is Whidbey Island in Washington. I'm not sure if it's because that's where my grandparents live, or if it's because we spent every summer there as kids, or if it's because family agate hunting trips make for the most enjoyable memories. I think it's a little bit of all of it.

Daniel and I visited Washington over Labor Day weekend and stayed a couple days on Whidbey and a couple days in Seattle. Typically on our vacations, I take a ton of photos—and this time I only took about 15! I think last year I ended up with at least ten times that many. This trip, I focused on making a video diary of our time spent there, so stay tuned for that next week. You can see photos from last year's Washington trip here: Whidbey Island, Maxwelton Beach, the 4th of July, Pike Place Market, and Seattle.

Here are some of the few photos from our trip, all of which were from our days spent on Whidbey. Sadly, I don't have any Seattle photos this year. Bummer!

Ivars ice cream cone in Mukilteo Washington
After all of my raving about Ivars' clam chowder and soft serve swirl cones, Daniel knew he had to try both out while we waited to board the ferry over to Whidbey. Ivars, you have a new fan!
Maxwelton Ferry, Kittitas Ferry ride
Aboard the Mulkilteo Ferry, overlooking the Puget Sound.Whidbey Island 2014 Trip
Nanny and Papa—my grandparents (on my mom's side)—and lights of my life!
Maxwelton Beach on Whidbey Island
Exploring Maxwelton Beach.
Beach House on Maxwelton Beach on Whidbey Island
The beach house my grandparents used to live in. It's so classic and brings back the best memories.
Finding crabs on Maxwelton Beach on Whidbey Island
Daniel was all about the tide flats and catching crabs.
Maxwelton Beach on Whidbey Island
Agate Hunting on Maxwelton Beach on Whidbey Island
A small, glowing agate. We found three one day and ten the next—we will be showing them off in the video to come.
Love spelled in driftwood, Whidbey Island Love
We stumbled upon this beautiful piece of beach art.
Whidbey Island Trip 2014
Honestly, they're so cool. I love my grandparents so much!
Maxwelton Ferry, Kittitas Ferry Ride
On the Mukilteo Ferry heading to Seattle.

This trip was so much fun. I got to spend some quality time with my sister, go for two long (like 4 hours!) and perfect-weather beach walks, work out at the country club's gym each day, got to go for an early-morning run with my mom, and got to eat the most heavenly slice of pizza ever created at Village Pizzeria in Langley. No trip to Whidbey is complete without stopping at the Village Pizzeria for a slice of pesto and finishing it off with a little shopping at the Star Store!

Next week I'll be sharing our video diary of our entire trip—complete with family, beach walks, agates, games, sights of Washington, delicious food, laughter and so much love. These trips always make me wonder—why do we only go once a year? My new mission is to change that!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

twenty-eight.

Aunie turns twenty-eight, birthday recap post

Yesterday was my 28th birthday. To be honest, it kind of snuck up one me this year! I loved being 27—27 was my "golden" birthday, and I had always said 27 was going to be my best year. And to date—it was! 27 held a lot of surprises. I joined the Air National Guard, I bought a house, I ran a full marathon, and I spent two months down in Texas for Basic Military Training. 27 just flew by and boy—it was jam-packed. When I realized that my birthday was this week, I was kind of blown away. Where did the last year go? Though it went quickly, it was awesome. I spent the last year becoming a better person and taking steps toward an awesome future. It truly was a great year.

As for 28? I'm ready for it. The number is just a number, but as for what I'm going to experience—that's what I'm excited for. I might not know what 28 has in store... but I'll embrace it as it comes. I made three wishes as I blew out my candle yesterday. One for the future, one that's kind of crazy, and one that's super random. But most of all, my goal is just to live every day. LIVE IT. Have fun, do it with a smile, and just be so grateful for each new day.

Oh—and as I do each year—I suppose I should share photos! This year's celebration was very low-key. Daniel and I threw a small joint birthday party for my mom's boyfriend and me the day before my birthday (which was his birthday). It was so nice! We just had a new patio poured at our home last week, so this was the first time we had people over to take advantage of the extra space. It was great! What a lovely time spent with our loved ones. We spent my actual birthday doing my favorite thing—date night! You just can't beat a chill, laid-back birthday.

Aunie turns twenty-eight, birthday recap post
The party crew.
bright mini peppers
Aunie turns twenty-eight, birthday recap post
Aunie turns twenty-eight, birthday recap post
Aunie turns twenty-eight, birthday recap post
Mister Gregory was so taken with Dobby. He couldn't believe she was real!
Aunie turns twenty-eight, birthday recap post
Aunie turns twenty-eight, birthday recap post
Aunie turns twenty-eight, birthday recap post
Aunie turns twenty-eight, birthday recap post
The best kind of mess!
BMT Memory Book, Basic Military Training Memory Book
A story about this book! It was my memory book from BMT that my mother-in-law made for me. She slaved all summer working on this, and it was the neatest and most precious gift!
BMT Memory Book, Basic Military Training Memory Book
BMT Memory Book, Basic Military Training Memory Book
While looking at this photo (of me running in the BMT 5K) Gregory proclaimed, "Whoa! You look like a man!" Yes, Gregory... yes, yes I did. You've gotta love the true honesty of a first grader.

28—let's see what you have in store. Anyone want to take a guess as to what this next year may hold for me? I'd love to look back and see who was right! Thanks so much for all the birthday love via Instagram & social media. You all are the best!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Enjoying Every Minute

Annelise Rowe, an update on life, blogging and sauce

You know, now that I'm not posting every day, it seems like time is just zooming by. Life, summer—every moment—it's just whizzing past. Taking a step back from blogging has really changed my perspective on the little things. No longer do I feel the need to blog or Instagram each day, nor carry my camera with me everywhere we go. In fact, we went up to McCall this last weekend and I had left my phone in the garage (I had been jammin' to some tunes during my workout & accidentally left it plugged into the speakers), and I didn't give not having a phone for the entire weekend a second thought.

When I returned from Basic Training, I wasn't sure how much blogging I was going to be doing or what I'd even desire to blog about. While I plan on still sharing photos of our travels, tidbits about my fitness routines, and progressions with my new part-time military career, I definitely have scaled back on some of my other past topics & advertisements. And it feels good. I want this blog to be a diary and a place to reflect. A place to share photos or journal entries as they happen. Sure, it's informal and super part-time (like once a week—maybe), but that's where I'm at right now. And I love it.

Lately, life for us has just been all about living in the moment. I've been spending lots of time with my sweetie and we've been working out, cooking lots of delicious meals, taking spontaneous road trips (to McCall for a jazz festival!), we recently changed churches and are so excited about all the places we've been seeing God show his goodness lately, and this morning we just began a new patio landscaping project. It's exciting, it's so fun, and it's great to just be able to take a moment to ourselves to breathe. The direction we're going in—whichever direction that is at the moment—is right where we want to be. Life is good!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

30.


Dear Daniel,

          HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Today you turn the tide on another decade and I can't even tell you how much I wish I was there to help you ring in the big 3-0. I promise, I'd rather be enjoying chips and salsa on a restaurant patio and eating your favorite white cake & chocolate frosting with you than down at BMT "pushing Texas."

          It's funny, in a round-about sort of way, that each year I've compiled a collage of our adventures from your previous year and written you a letter, because that's honestly all I can do to help celebrate your birthday this year. I mean, I don't even know if my MTI will let me call you on this special day of yours. So a letter it is, unless you hear otherwise, of course.

          I always have the most fun making these collages and looking over our pictures from the last year. It's always a challenge to weed photos out, because to me—they're all so special. Each one tells a story of another day spent together. From road trips to races, from Air Guard days to lazy days on the couch—each was another memory that I'm holding close to my heart.

          Thank you for wanting to experience the whole world with me, hand in hand. Thank you for singing me songs and for your silly dance moves and for always stopping to take a moment to kiss the back of my neck in the morning while I'm getting ready or in a rush. Thank you for our time together, whether it's doing yard work, cuddling on the couch, carpooling to and from work, or just doing absolutely nothing at all. And thank you for supporting me and standing by me with my pursuit of a new career with the Air National Guard, even though it meant me leaving for a little bit, and sacrificing a few months of our precious time together. Thank you. I love you so much and I am so blessed to be your wife. With you, life is "so good, so good!"

          I hope you are able to enjoy every moment of your day today. Hit the gym, rock the office, eat until you're absolutely full, and then have an Oreo and extra slice of birthday cake for me. Even though I'm not with you, I promise you'll be on my mind all day. Happy Birthday, my sweets. Do you loooove me? Yes, I loooove YOU! 

Loving & celebrating you from 1,600 miles away,
Your Little Airman-in-Training Aunie ♥

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sharing a Car Part 2

Spouses sharing a car, the benefits of sharing a car

Daniel and I have been sharing a car for five months. I wrote about my initial experience with only having one car here, and I figured now was as good of a time as any to share an update about how it's been working.

It's amazing to look back and see how fast the time has gone. Five months ago seems like just yesterday. I don't really think about the fact that we only have one car now—it's just the way it is. It's become second nature. We go to the gym in the mornings, go to work together (we both work fairly close), and then go home in the evenings. If one of us has plans, no big deal. We make it happen.

The biggest change we've seen is the amount of money we've saved. We considered buying a small SUV shortly after selling our other SUV, but it didn't pan out and we've been thankful that it didn't work. It's so easy to only have one vehicle—it's one car to fill up, one car to maintain, one car to park in the garage, and one car that keeps us so close together.

Sharing a car has taught me a lot about the kind of person I am and the kind of person I want to be. If you know me, you know I'm not a very patient person. Having one car is teaching me patience. Notice I said "teaching"—obviously I haven't mastered patience yet, but I certainly have gotten a lot better. Sharing a car has taught me about compromise. I can't always do every single little thing that I want to do because there simply isn't time for it. And that's so good, because this one-car situation has taught me to simplify. Patience, compromise, simplification—we love sharing a car.

At the moment, we have no plans to purchase another vehicle in the near future. As I'm going to Basic Training soon, there won't be a need to have a second car gathering dust in the garage while I'm away for training. We are enjoying the financial benefits of just having one-car at the moment too much to consider a second one. I assume that when kiddos come along, sure—things will change—but until then, we are a happy one-car family. See? Simple.

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

Friday, December 6, 2013

Insecurities.

Insecurities about infidelity in marriage, Sapphire Wedding Ring

I am a liar and creator of evil thoughts. It's true. And the only person I hurt is myself.

For completely unfounded reasons, I create thoughts and ideas in my head about infidelity, distrust, suspicion, doubt. Nothing has ever been done to me that would substantiate a reason for these thoughts—though my own actions and hurt I've caused others is what I believe to be the primary reason for it.

It's sad. These thoughts—and often terrifying nightmares that wake me up in tears and cold sweats—are debilitating. They come on at a moment's notice, ruining my kind and carefree spirit. They send me into panic mode, creating the desire to snoop and see if there's anything underneath the surface that could be going on without my knowledge. It's so sad. I have distrust and it's so incredibly unfounded.

I get emotional as I write this. It's something that as I write, I want to hit "delete" and push under the rug—it's there but I don't want anyone else to see it. It's embarrassing. As a woman of faith, I shouldn't struggle with these things, I shouldn't let myself be so vulnerable. My mind—a filthy place—is so cluttered with these horrible thoughts, and there's no reason for it. I know these thoughts don't come from a good place. They're insecurities that I struggle with often—even today as I type this.

As often as I've debated putting this insecurity out there and broadcasting it to the entire internet, I suppose I have a hopeful intention with it. So often, I've blogged about my troubles in the past. My trichotillomania... that only got better after I wrote it all down and put myself out there—so I'm crossing my fingers and saying my prayers that bringing this insecurity out from it's hiding spot will help me in the long run. I'm not weak. I'm not helpless. And I'm tired of letting these destructive thoughts control me and make me feel weak and helpless.

I've made so many decisions lately, like joining the Air National Guard, where I know I'll put myself in an emotionally vulnerable spot and won't be able to see Daniel for several months while I'm away at training—and the hope is that it will make a stronger person. He is an amazing man, and I'm not giving him the credit, respect or honor he deserves.

So there it is. The lies I tell myself. The fear of it happening to me. The biggest insecurities that get me down and crush my spirit day after day.

Not anymore.

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!

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, September 16, 2013

Sharing a Car...

Sharing a car with your spouse

A week after we moved into our new home, we sold our Explorer (which had been listed on Craigslist since May). It kind of happened all of a sudden and then BAM—we found ourselves with only one car. When we first listed our Explorer, we began looking for a new vehicle right away, but we didn't want to purchase anything until it sold—since with Craigslist, you just never know when something will sell. We figured it could be a week or months—and months was correct. We had found a couple of really nice pickup trucks (we're looking for something we can do landscaping projects with!), but of course those sell right away, so we kept finding ourselves playing the waiting game.

Now that we're down to one car, we can't seem to find the right second vehicle. They're either too old, have too many miles, are far too expensive... there just hasn't been "the one" that has popped out at us yet. So for right now, we're making one car work. And we're going to try to for as long as possible.

Oh, one car. It's interesting, I can say that for sure. We both work in Boise (and not too far away from each other), so it's convenient to drive to work together in the morning. Daniel begins his workday earlier than I do and finishes earlier, so lately he's been dropping me off quite early, which actually has helped my productivity go through the roof! Figuring out our other schedules has been a bit of a challenge. With my marathon training still at its peak, we're having to work around my run days and his gym schedule, so it's been tricky. But I'll say this, I'm becoming an expert at taking super-fast showers and putting on my makeup in the car while he drives us to work! Our routine lately has been: wake up at 5:00 am, go for a run, come home and hop in the car with Daniel to go to the gym—and while he works out for about 30 minutes, I shower and get ready. Then we get back in the car and head to work! It makes for a packed—yet enjoyable—start to our mornings.

Oddly enough, carpooling together has been really fun. We have a lot more time to talk about things we want to get done for the house, plans we have for the week, how our days went, and we have been really enjoying spending time—even if we're not talking—together. I'm not sure how long this one-car situation will last, but right now it's a great fit. Sure, we've had to re-arrange our schedules (especially after-work meetings/plans/errands), but hey—we're saving tons of money, we're spending more time together, and we're making memories that we'll always be able to look back on. So new vehicle, come when you may—but at the moment, I'm in no rush for another change.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Birthday For the Memory Books

Birthday Celebration

Yesterday was quite possibly the best birthday ever. My office ladies were so sweet to greet me with the nicest compliments for my new hair cut, and my phone rang and buzzed off the hook with calls and texts from friends and family filled with "Happy Birthday" wishes. Daniel picked me up for lunch and we dined at PF Changs—one of our favorite spots—on their spicy ahi tuna roll and Chang's Spicy Chicken. Yum! After lunch, I headed back to the office and was greeted with a bouquet of flowers from my sister and brother-in-law and a giant "strawberry champagne" cupcake from the ladies in my office. It was such a treat!

When I got home, I was able to relax for a moment while Daniel and I discussed our plan of action (or so I thought). We were just about to leave for dinner—I even had my purse over my shoulder and keys in hand—when a whole group of our friends walked through the front door! It was a surprise party! To be fair, I did the same thing for Daniel for his birthday back in May, so I should have known he would have something up his sleeve!

Birthday Flower Bouquet
Birthday Celebration
Birthday Cake and Candles
Birthday Celebration
Birthday Celebration
Birthday Celebration
My Skirt c/o LuLaRoe

THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone who came over (also to those not in the photos!) and for all of you who left sweet comments & messages yesterday. You guys made my birthday just that much more amazing. From the flowers, to lunch, to the party, to the treats, to the friends & laughter, and the best surprise we could have possibly gotten (a couple days early!), it was just the BEST DAY EVER. Happy Birthday to me... I knew 27 was going to be great!

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