Today is wild and it is yours.

DenaJanuary 11, 2014

“She said she usually cried at least once each day not because she was sad, but because the world was so beautiful & life was so short.” — Brian Andreas

Remember my Road Trip/Wanderlust post from August? Well, it’s happening! We are headed off on our first official family vacation and my first-ever “real” road trip in June! I don’t have words to express how excited I am. My blog has been quiet this week because I’ve been spending every spare moment working on our itinerary and booking accommodations. We’ll be gone for 19 days and traveling a total of 5,587 miles! We’re spending time in Grand Canyon, Zion, and Yellowstone National Parks. We’ll be staying in a few hotels along the road, but most of the time we’ll be pitching the tent and camping under the stars. Here’s a map and a list of each place we’ll be staying along the way.

Home → Columbus, Ohio → Graham Cave State Park, Missouri → Pueblo, Colorado → Durango, Colorado {Stop for Lunch} → Four Corners Monument {Stop for Photographs} → Wetherill Inn, Arizona → Grand Canyon National Park {Mather Campground} → Grand Canyon National Park {Desert View Campground} → Zion National Park {Watchman Campground} → Montpelier, Idaho → Yellowstone National Park {Madison Campground} → Yellowstone National Park {Slough Creek Campground} → Fargo, North Dakota → Chicago, Illinois → Girard, Ohio → Home.

2014 is off to an amazing start. I’ve always believed that we move in the direction of our most dominant thoughts. I started the year with a fierce determination to focus on myself so that I could be the best possible version of me. We’re just a couple of weeks into this new year and doors are opening all around — and within — me.

This week, Matthew catapulted me into a new nutrition and fitness plan. It’s something that I’ve been asking him to do for a long time. Although he doesn’t have any formal training, he has extensive self-taught knowledge in the areas of nutrition and physiology. I’m in the early stages of my lifestyle refresh, but I already feel so much better. I am working out every day and eating well. Pressing my body and feeding it nourishing sustenance — it’s exactly what I’ve been needing.

I’ve also applied for my substitute teaching license. The desire to get back into teaching has been pulling at me for quite awhile. Last year, I spent many days walking with Roman at my childhood school grounds. When summer faded into autumn and the children returned to school, my heart lit on fire. The excitement of the new school year; watching the children excitedly file into their classrooms; these things awakened something inside of me that desperately wants to be a part of it. I taught K-8th grade Spanish in a Catholic elementary school during my undergraduate program. Getting my substitute teaching license and getting back into the classroom will be the perfect way to get my feet wet and see if this is really what I want. If all goes well, I should have my license by the end of the month.

It’s such an exciting time. Although last year was amazing in so many ways, I started crumbling near the end of it. I had have demons to battle. I became complacent. I was weighed down by what has been and I forgot that I have the power to create what is and what will be.

I am so excited about this year. In May, we will celebrate my 30th birthday and Roman’s 1st birthday. In June, we will go on an epic road trip and I will finally see pieces of my country that I’ve been dreaming about for my entire life. I will be the healthiest and the happiest that I have ever been.

There are so many places that I want to see, so many photographs that I want to take, so many memories that I want to make. I am so much reminded of my favourite quote by Louis L’Amour, “There will come a time when you believe everything is finished; that will be the beginning.”

[accordion title=”A few housekeeping notes…”] Congratulations to the winner of the Spuni Spoon Set Giveaway — MEGAN GEIER!

I also want to thank everyone who voted for us over on Top Baby Blogs last quarter. I was thrilled to spend a good chunk of time in the Top 3 and to finish in 4th place. It was an honor to be ranked among so many beautiful mamas. I will not be actively competing over there or soliciting votes this quarter. But thanks again to everyone who supported us last time around.[/accordion]

Have a lovely weekend, friends. xo

Comments (12)

  • Suzy

    January 11, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Heck ya!! I’m so excited for you!

    1. Dena

      January 12, 2014 at 7:30 pm

      Thanks, love. I’m so excited, too. I can hardly think about anything else.

  • Mommy in the Midwest

    January 11, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    That’s awesome…but it looks like you accidentally forgot to make a pitstop here in Indianapolis…no? Not a mistake? Oh, okay.

    1. Dena

      January 12, 2014 at 7:31 pm

      Aww, shucks. If only I’d known… hehehe. ;]

  • Misty

    January 12, 2014 at 12:52 am

    No way! That sounds fantastic! I’m super jealous of your upcoming trip, but glad to live vicariously through you and your posts (which I’m sure will be full of stunning photography). Good for you, lady!

    1. Dena

      January 12, 2014 at 7:31 pm

      Thank you and yes — I will be taking ALL THE PICTURES. <3

  • farzana

    January 12, 2014 at 2:54 am

    We are also going on a trip but all the details needs a bit organizing..will post it soon…can’t wait to see your pix!

    1. Dena

      January 12, 2014 at 7:31 pm

      Ah, can’t wait to hear about your trip!!

  • Clare

    January 12, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    I have so many Durango recommendations! I lived there for six years.

    1. Dena

      January 13, 2014 at 8:03 am

      Oh, how wonderful! Okay, tell me what I CAN’T miss. ;]

  • Kay

    January 13, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    That is awesome, I’m excited to see pictures! I’ve always wanted to travel, but my anxiety is terrible when it comes to being in new places. I have to start mentally preparing myself down for our visit to Atlantic City in March!

  • Crista

    January 15, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    Good for you, Dena! And thanks for sharing! You’re an inspiration to me. Your road trip sounds so amazing, I too love the open road and planning those types of adventures ( if you want to see something beautiful, visit me in N. Michigan!) xo

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