Thursday, May 31, 2012


I'll be in my current position with my employer for about about a year in August and I now have final travel dates to visit Manila, Philippines(the location of the Contact Center I work with).  And...I think I may stay a few extra nights on my own time at one of their beach destinations.  Certainly, this white body may go into shock if it gets exposed to the sun but I'll wear plenty of sunscreen.

The details are still to be worked out but I'm super pumped that I finally have some dates and am even more excited to meet my partners/co-workers/friends in the Philippines!  :)

I'm sure I'll have lots of stories to tell you!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

camping must-haves

We went camping this weekend but our time got cut short because it was exhaustingly windy.  We camped near Taos right on the Rio Grande river.  It was a great camp ground and we had a great camp site...25 feet from the river.  Mike went up Friday morning(he actually worked all weekend so I was on my own most of the time) and Boulevard and I headed up Friday after work.(wasn't sure how Stu would do so we boarded him)

A few camping must haves:

1. REI Campbed 3.5
This camp pad was amazing that I didn't even hear the nearby campsite(maybe a 1 minute walk from our site) that was being so loud that the police were called around 11:30pm by the camp host.  HA - Mike even responded to the call and I didn't even know it happened or woke up until Mike got into the tent for the night.  Like I said, the sleeping pad was amazing!

2. Wet wipes - I used the Wet Ones brand for my hands and Neutrogena for my face.  These were CRITICAL due to all the blowing dirt and the fact that the power went out on Saturday so there was no running water.  The Neutrogena wipes were great to wash my face right before dozing off on my sleeping pad.

3. Tuna Salad - It was so windy, any type of fire was out of the question but since I make an impecable Tuna Salad, I did not starve without a grill.  Soooo yummy!

4. Walk Easy - This is a harness/collar/bra thing for Boulevard.  The camp host actually saw Boulevard dragging me around the camp site so he brought this Walk Easy over and it was fabulous.  No pulling or yanking my arm off any longer!  I will be purchasing one.
(Boulevard after swimming in the river - you can sort of see the Walk Easy)
5. Bandana/hat - Used to keep my hair out of my face,(I have shorter hair now so a pony tail isn't an option) protect my head from the sun, & I pulled it down to protect my ears from the sun as well.  I preferred a bandana so I could also wear my sunglasses.
(after a short little hike for us after Mike left for work - bandana = must have)
6. Kindle/Book - I spent 80% of the time reading and playing games on my Kindle.  Boulevard was exhausted by noon on Saturday and was not interested the 4th time I took him to the river to swim so I did a lot of reading.  I swear every time the camp host came to visit I was in the same spot - sitting in my camping chair with my feet propped on the picnic table for practically the entire day.  I finished "Heaven is For Real" ~ great book if you're looking for a new read.

Here are a few more pictures:

(our camping headquarters)
 (three of the best guys in my life - Stu is too!)
 (Mike and Ranger relaxing before going to work - the morning's were beautiful!)
 (the view from Boulevard and my hike - view of the Rio Grande - our camp site was beyond the bridge)
We live in an amazing place - New Mexico really is the 'Land of Enchantment!'

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

travel memories

I know you're probably saying, "Two blogs by Kirsten in one day?"  Writing about our upcoming vacation made me think of my morning ritual(green tea and/or coffee) and my favorite mugs I drink from.

After we moved to D.C. I started collecting Starbucks mugs representing all the places we have travelled.  Some places we go do not have mugs :( but here is my collection.  You can probably guess that the D.C. mug was my first and the only one that I personally have not travelled to get is the Puerto Vallarta mug(it was a gift from Mike's parents)...that said, though, I can't wait to have the opportunity to travel to Puerto Vallarta.

Top Row: San Diego, Colorado, England
Middle Row: Playa del Carmen, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Paris, France
Bottom Row: Arizona, Washington D.C, New Mexico, Las Vegas, New York, London

We have an exciting trip in the Fall planned of cruising the Mediterranean so I'll probably need an extra suitcase to bring home all my new mgs.  :)

a scrapbook post

I think I've mentioned before that I really use my blog these days as my scrapbook.  After I left NE and my scrapbooking support group, I just don't have motivation to here is a random post scrapbook post for you.

Mike participated in Tough Mudder in Phoenix, AZ ~ a 12+ mile obstacle course with, as you probably guessed, a lot of mud.  He was part of a team so there was a group of us spectators that were able to be at a handful of the obstacles.  It was a wonderful day and really fun to watch.
Mike was part of the 'Super Troopers' team.  :) Mike is standing all the way to the left.
This is right after he got through these huge garbage tanks(those huge ones that they use in construction) filled with water and ICE.  Literally, they were using a front loader dumping ice into these things. 
Army crawling through tubes of mud.(Mike's in the middle)
More mud.

 Trying to miss the wires that have 10,000 volts floating through...seriously, many of those strings are wires with 10,000 volts.  Crazy!
Finish line - a well deserved beer and orange sweat band!  :)

Mike turned 30 years old in February so we took a trip to Estes Park, CO.  A few friends from NE met us there...two of these said friends actually got engaged on this exact trip.  How fun!  Estes Park and the Rocky Mountain National Park was amazing ~ we snowshoed for the first time & love it, we went on a horseback ride(I rode Baby and Mike rode Gus), saw tons of elk just hangin' out on the side or directly on the road, & enjoyed being with friends and in the amazing view!

I went on a 'Girls Trip' in March to Breckenridge, CO - I met two of my very favorite ladies(aka Jen and Emilie) in Breck and we had an amazing time.  We skied, had some late nights, and TONS of girl talk.  I've said it before and I'll say it again ~ there's something so amazing and refreshing to spend quality time with girlfriends!!  I think all three of us needed this trip!

While Mike travelled to AZ and NV for his work, I went to NE for two weeks in April.  It's always so crazy when I'm in NE because I'm working full-time and also trying to see as many people/friends as I can.  A few highlights - hanging out on the farm w/ Dad/Barb(+Barb's kids), doing a mini winery tour with my Mom & Sis, spending Easter w/ family, watching one of my nephew's baseball games, touring my brother & sister-in-law's new house, enjoying my favorite food spots(good thing the 5 lbs I gained is gone), and spending some great time with family and friends.  Fantastic.  We'll be back in NE in June for the wedding of our friends who were engaged on the Estes Park trip.  :)

Mike has been working the AZ/Mexico border for almost a week and a half but gets back laaaatttteee tonight.  We have a couples spa evening planned for tomorrow and then we leave soon for vacation to Sedona, AZ.  Since Mike and I have basically been together one week of the entire month of April, I'm SOOOO excited for vacation and spending quality time with JUST dogs and no work!!