Rock Climbing -

Recently rock climbing is the latest thing I've gotten into. I have zero experience, but am learning (sorta). I've gone climbing at an indoor facility couple times, & just free-climbed around, having fun but probably making a complete fool of myself, (not that I care). Anyways, this week I finally went outdoor climbing! I really loved it, could totally get addicted - it was as thrilling as it was challenging. I had a blast, (its such good exercise!) I got a few bruises & scrapes, & earned some new stuff; how to tie a couple special knots, how to self-repel - & various rock climbing terminologies. (Belay! Belay! Belay!) I'm a bad judge of distances, but I'd guess by the time I reached the top of the cliff I was around 70(ish) feet high.

I went climbing with one of Beartooth Mountain Guides' guides. Beartooth Mountain Guides Inc. is a guide service & outdoor recreation service school, based in Red Lodge MT, they operate in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. If you are interested in backcountry skiing, ice climbing, mountaineering, rock climbing, backpacking, snowshoeing, etc. check them out! It's a great way to have fun & learn something new!

I would really encourage you (if you're not already) to go outside - try something new. (If ya live near Red Lodge, check out Beartooth Mtn. Guides!) Utilize whats around you. Simply enjoy this beautiful world we live in. Keep the wonder, keep the stoke high.(Enjoy summer while it lasts!) You can always have more work, but you can never have more time. That's something I'm coming to realize, more, & more. Ya gotta make time for what ya love (recreationally speaking, that is). Don't wait for opportunity - create it!


Doing Good, Giving Grace

WHY DONT WE JUST TRY AND MAKE THE BEST OF TODAY AND TOMORROW (& the next day & the next day & the next day & the next day & the next day & the next day & the next day & the next)

This summer I've spent a fair amount of time at home, with my parents, brothers & 6 pets. It's safe to say there's never really a "dull" moment here at the house.  One moment the dog has escaped, or the sprinkler system has malfunctioned, or some of my brother's friends show up for supper & a spontaneous night of playing cards… There's work to do, meals to cook, laundry to fold, dust bunnies to catch, a garden to weed, 2 acres to mow, etc. I love it, it keeps me busy. I try to make the most of it; to truly love & appreciate my family while I'm here…

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.” -John Westley

Wow, did ya get that? Thats pretty much doing good e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. Doing good is usually fun, I mean helping people or animals gives any of us a good feeling inside, right? But we are all selfish beings, who have the tendency to do bad - even when we are doing good. We have the tendency to do good, only when we "feel" like it. So often we do good, while looking sideways, or we do it begrudgingly, & have conceited thoughts in our hearts. If ya think about that, we'll both find that we haven't done as much good as we've fooled ourselves into thinking we have.

I'm preaching to myself here!! I need to do good because I have a Savior who set the ultimate example of selflessly doing good for bad people, like me. When I'm having a hard time doing good, or I get bogged down - I need to remind myself that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. All things I do reflect what I believe - & I believe in doing all things as unto Christ - because he did everything for you & me.

Sometimes, it's easy for me to get frustrated while thinking about people, possibilities, work, relationships, & the (generally beautiful) mess that life is. Each day is an irreplaceable gift, & yet I get easily distracted by stupid things that don't matter or affect me. Compare-ism is the thief of joy & contentedness…I need to stop comparing myself to people.  I need to be comparing myself to Christ!  I need to always make the most of life. I need to do good, at work, to others, my family, (& myself for that matter). I need to strive for greater things. I need to focus on what is at hand, I need to genuinely care for others & make the most of everything. I need to give grace - I have received grace (time & time again) by the people in my life - & I have received unconditional grace from my Heavenly Father. I am so undeserving, & yet he loves me, does good for me, & gives me grace when I am at my worst.

Anyways. All this to say, don't lose time, make the most of it. Yesterday is the past, what can you learn from it? We all have a few scars, but by God's grace we can move forwards. Tomorrow is a mystery, so don't bother stressing about it. As a Christian, I know that God already has everything figured out for me, so I don't need to worry about it. (Sounds easy right? But actually its hard not to worry, something I always need to be working on - deeply trusting God & his infinite plan that is sprinkled with amazing grace.) Today? Well, there's no time like the present. Today is a gift - savor each precious moment. This moment is your life - & its bursting with flavor & spice! We need to be good stewards of our lives & with what we have been given. Sometimes life can get crappy, & bad things happen & pain demands to be felt. Sometimes we've gotta take what we're served. But we can try to fix it when we don't like it, just make the most of it. Be content with what you have. Receive & give grace.

Let's get out of the woods & into the path. Lets try to see things clearly, tread lightly, & live fearlessly. Let's do good. Let's live intentionally. Let's see the beauty around us - so many people "get used" to beauty - So I challenge you to do good, give grace, & keep the wonder with your eyes wide open.… Never stop seeing beauty, its everywhere, & can be found in unlikely places…

P.S.  My name is Grace, in case you didn't know. If ya look the word up in the dictionary, the definition is: simple elegance or refinement of movement. (Funny, because I'm actually a klutzy adult, who is always tripping over everything. I get lots of "graceful" jokes.) The 2nd definition of 'grace' is: the free & unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners & bestowal of blessings.


Dog Dayz of August

"At the end of the day your feet should be dirty, 
your hair messy & your eyes sparkling."

Today one of my good friends & I kayaked over 20 miles on the Clarks Fork River. The Clarks Fork is a winding & s-l-o-w river, even when that water is "up" & muddied. Really enjoyed this day - It was so quite & peaceful. & I got the most amazing (ever) tan on my legs. We saw lots of beautiful birds & waterfowl: a couple bald eagles, a golden eagle, sea gulls, pelicans, geese, numerous species of ducks, & "sand piper" type birds. The sun was hot, & the water was cold; it was a perfect day for relaxing on the water, enjoying creation, & soaking up summer…

… Here's some music for your ears too. A song that reminds me of summertime. & days gone by, & the simple repetition of life; longings, dreams, work, knowledge, fulfillment - journeys to find ourselves, only to find we already know who we were - & already have what we want.

"I know there's California, Oklahoma and all of the places I ain't ever been to, but down in the valley with whiskey rivers, these are the places you will find me hidin', these are the places I will always go, these are the places I will always go, I am on my way, I am on my way, I am on my way back to where I started." ~The Head & The Heart


Currently Spinning -

 M U S I C 
the other- 
(ask your doctor if its right for you)

I'm a total music junkie. I *always* have music playing. When driving I keep my windows down & the radio blaring, or I have my iPod streaming out the cars' speakers. I've got massive iTunes library, & listen to Pandora a lot too. Also have lots of cds. I play music when I'm cooking, painting, cleaning, working in the garden, running, etc.! (You get the picture.) I love music. It adds so much spice to life, & so often captures a feeling or mood much better then you could express it. When I'm depressed there's music, when I'm happy there's music. When I feel inspired, there's music to keep me going. I often get in musical ruts. I'll have my own secret "theme song" for a month or couple weeks. I get stuck on songs & play them over & over… But hey, if ya like what you hear, why not?

Do you ever turn the volume up louder & louder 'til you reach that perfect level of "ahhh yes, I cannot hear anything else" 

 I have very peevish & particular tastes in music. I won't go into that now, but I will say that I don't like country or bluegrass music. Especially bluegrass. Got nothing against it, just not my cup of tea.
It's those songs that expressing feelings you can't say.

But music like this (just below) is a style I completely love! It's raw, genuine & thoughtful. I'm currently hooked on Jared & The Mill. They use all the same instruments that a bluegrass band would use, but the instruments are played in a different style. (I'm still completely hooked on BROODS btw - A completely different style & sound from that of Jared & The Mill. ha!) Jared & The Mill is basically like an American "Mumford & Sons". (I like Mumford, but think they are somewhat overrated. haha.)

I'd put J&TM in the folk genre of music. But I normally like listening to indie rock, alternative, electronica & singer/songwriter styled music. (think: Ben Howard, Josh Garrells, Washed Out, Ellie Goulding, Active Child, Jose Gonzalez, Band of Horses, Birdy, Beta Radio, Imagine Dragons, Sleeping at Last, Nora Jones, Parov Stelar, Bastille, Florence + the Machine, One Republic, Prinze George - to name a few main stream artists I like.)

Anyways, thanks for reading my rambling thoughts! Give Jared & The Mill a listen! I own their album Western Expansion! Tell me what you think! What kind of music do you like?!

Please note: The song "Breathe Me In" has a coupe salty words in it..