Longing for Lapland (March, 2016)

The cold, windy air hitting my nose and cheeks in Michigan reminds me of Swedish Lapland. We visited Abisko and Kiruna, and even crossed the border into Norway for an afternoon. From visiting the ice hotel I saw in Nat Geo as a third grader to sledding in the town after bar hopping, riding on the back of a dog sled, feeding the reindeer and seeing the Northern Lights (three times!), Lapland was probably the happiest week of my life…

Photo Highlights of 2018

2018…what a year!  So many incredible things happened, which has led to lifelong memories that I’ll always cherish.

I was able to spend lots of quality time with my Little Sister of four years, Aniya!

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I had a travel marathon from March – July (Chicago, Boston, Iceland, Myrtle Beach, Peru and Portland)! I was able to spend time with old friends, have a once-in-a-lifetime adventure with my mom, hang out with my brother on the west coast and get engaged during this short period of time!

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I was able to spend more time with my pup Linley than ever.  We even went to a baseball game with grams in Detroit!

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My dad and I were able to hang out a lot more than usual, now that we’re in the same department at work.  My dad is also in Big Brothers Big Sisters, and seeing his Little Brother grow up is amazing (and scary…)!

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My best friend (who I call my twin) and I share the same birthday!!! We were able to celebrate our 25th year on this earth together 🙂

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My fiance and pup cheered me up on Halloween as they dressed as a minion and a bee!

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And the most eventful day was Friday, November 16, the day I married my best friend 🙂

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I have no idea what could be better than repeating 2018, but I’m very excited for what 2019 has in store for all of us 🙂 Happy New Year!

November 16, 2018: Wedding Photo Essay

Juan and I went on our first date Friday, November 16, 2012 and were married Friday, November 16, 2018; it was truly a night to remember.  Being his wife is my biggest and best adventure yet…

All photos were taken by the lovely David Lucas at http://www.dsphotomi.com/index2.php#!/HOME

My husband is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.  He has shown me love since the beginning, as others did not.  He has taught me to feel confident in myself, even when I have not.  Juan is my best friend and I am incredibly proud of the man he is today.

Myrtle Beach (May 2018)

I realize I am very late to the party here, but better late than never 😉

Over Memorial Day weekend, my then-boyfriend of nearly six years proposed to me!  I knew it was coming, but the weekend was truly special and being in such a beautiful place with such a beautiful, loving man means the world to me.

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A few weeks prior, Juan asked my dad for my hand in marriage.  Although I knew we were taking a trip, I had NO idea where we were going until I boarded the plane!  My dad knew and apparently told Juan that I enjoyed Myrtle Beach in high school (true!), but I’m so impressed they both lasted so long without telling me.  More importantly, I’m (pleasantly) surprised that I didn’t guess our destination correctly!

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Feeling the sand in my toes, seeing sharks and dolphins swim around and enjoying the sunshine with my babe was the perfect way to spend a long weekend 🙂 I am truly blessed to have this man in my life, and I’m even more grateful that as of 11-16-18, Juan is now my HUSBAND!

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Juan has had this stone for me since I was 19, yet this whole journey still doesn’t seem real…

Machupicchu with Mom (July 2018)

Looking back at these photos is bittersweet; we really miss this trip but still cherish every memory and are grateful for the opportunity that we had together.

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The trek up to the old civilization was an adventure in-and-of itself!  Our bus driver was winding through the narrow roads like nobody’s business, abruptly dodging other tourist buses on the way up!  I was too excited to be nauseous on the way there, but the way back down was another story…

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We had the BEST group on our tour and our guide was amazing.  Jamie (pronounced “Hi-May” in South America) was the perfect combo of educational and entertaining!  He joked and said he hiked the Inca Trail at least once a week to get away from the world; part of me thinks he was serious because you could tell he was at home here at Machu Picchu.

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What still amazes me the most about the Incas is how forward and advanced they were, especially for their time.  The way they worked collectively, farmed with innovation in mind, and how they utilized everything they had astounds me.

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The views, no matter which direction you faced, were beyond impressive.  As soon as I uploaded this photo, I was shocked that I was physically standing there not too long ago; I am truly blessed. AND I got to see some llamas in their natural habitat, which obviously made my dreams come true!

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My mom and I were exhausted on the way back home, but our train ride fashion show kept us fairly engaged 🙂 I recommend Machu Picchu, Peru, and South America for anyone who loves cultural immersion, friendly people, and adventure!

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