tomorrow, i’m paying off my student loans.

in doing so, i will be *completely* out of debt (other than my mortgage).

it. feels. amazing.

i’m thankful for being faithful with my income – it has paid off.

one of the things that my wife & i do is we tw-ithe (giving 20%) on our income instead of the often talked about & debated tithe (10%) to our local church & charities.

giving yourself out of debt sounds crazy, but you know what? it works.

traveling mercies,

travels, trips for 2015

my travel schedule is already filling up quite nicely for 2015 and i’m looking forward to each trip for different reasons.  it’s nice to get away from home for a few days; to experience different parts of the world you’ve never seen, to broaden your horizons, to reconnect with old friends & make new ones along the way.

on the docket for 2015:

port townsend, wa – long weekend getaway mother’s day weekend – nothing flashy by way of long distances from home, but it involves a few ferry rides (!!!), staying in a tiny house, and wandering around state parks & small coastal towns.  sounds like a great weekend to me.

spokane, wa – family member’s wedding mid-july – okay, so this doesn’t count as a vacation seeing as how it’s my hometown & all, but i’m going & i’m looking forward to it.  reconnecting with family & friends is always time well spent if you ask me.

chicago, il / milwaukee, wi – scratching off three major league baseball stadiums with my dad! – i’ve long had a bucket list item to see a baseball game at every mlb park.  so far, i’ve seen a game at five of the thirty stadiums.  after this midsummer trip, i will be able to scratch three more parks off of that list: miller park, u.s. cellular, and the timeless wrigley field.  to say that i cannot wait is an understatement.

new mexico – i’ve had many people ask me, “why?” when i tell them that lovely & i will be taking a trip to the land of enchantment this fall – my first reply?  “why not?”  i mean, seriously?  it looks amazing.  i’m drawn to the stillness and slower pace of life it must certainly must offer as compared to the busy northwest city i currently call “home”.  sure, i’ll see a breaking bad site or two, but for the most part, the trip will be about getting out on the open road and seeing where it takes us.  sounds pretty magical to me.

for now, it’s a matter of saving up my spending money so i can properly enjoy my time in each one of these locations.

where are you going this year? (big or small, it doesn’t matter)  would you be interested in a postcard exchange?

traveling mercies,

Glorious Deliciousness for the Senses

this afternoon i made an intentional decision to disconnect from the busyness of life if only for a few minutes.

i walked to the downtown library branch to pick up a dvd that i had put in a request for – it’s about a five minute walk one way, give or take.

grabbing my jacket, i intentionally left my phone at my desk.

rather than browsing twitter, checking friends’ facebook statuses, or reading some random article about something, i intentionally made the decision to soak up my surroundings – to look at the sky, the soak up the buildings, and take in all of the sounds afforded to me by working in a major city.

it was gloriously delicious for my senses.


i saw this recently on postsecret and it made me smile (particularly because i know many co-workers who can relate to this).

Blue Ribbon











go well, friends.

traveling mercies,

A Few Things You (probably) Didn’t Know About Me

Happy Monday, Friends!

A friend of mine posted this on her blog, and I thought I would do the same thing.  Perhaps you’ll learn something about me that you did not know before.  If you already knew everything, kudos to you!

Four names people call me, other than my real name:

  • Cowboy
  • Haji
  • Jake
  • Bro

Four jobs I have had:

  • Attraction Attendant
  • Official Target Team Member Morale Leader (no, really)
  • Library Circulation Clerk
  • E-Commerce Marketing Associate

Four movies I’ve watched more than once:

  • Casablanca
  • Ben Hur (there’s a story with this one – I’ll have to blog about it sometime)
  • Robin Hood Prince of Thieves
  • All eight of the Harry Potter films

Four books I’d recommend:

  • Shantaram, Gregory David Roberts
  • Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott
  • Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke
  • Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer’s Life, Kathleen Norris

Four places I have lived:

  • Spokane, WA
  • Three Hills, Alberta, Canada
  • Ballincolig, County Cork, Ireland
  • Various towns along the Oregon Coast

Four places I have been:

  • Cliffs of Moher
  • Grand Canyon
  • Dodger Stadium
  • Emerald Pool, Dominica

Four places I’d rather be right now:

  • At home with my cat
  • Curled up with a good book
  • At a brewery with a good friend or two
  • Somewhere on the open road

Four things I don’t eat:

  • Seafood
  • Pineapple (allergic)
  • Those pink frosting sugar cookies
  • Eggplant

Four of my favorite foods:

  • Chicken Vindaloo
  • Steak
  • Chicken Fettuccine
  • Ice Cream

Four TV shows that I watch:

(Caveat: I do not have television service at home; as such, everything I watch is old episodes online)

  • Criminal Minds
  • Frasier
  • Amazing Race
  • Dexter / Breaking Bad (RIP)

Four things I am looking forward to this year (2015):

  • Going to Chicago/Milwaukee/Green Bay with my dad (July-August)
  • Cleaning out my living space of clutter, simplifying
  • Going on road trips with my Lovely
  • Trying as many new beers as I possibly can

Four things I’m always saying:

  • “Yeah yeah”
  • Anything in regards to a beer I tried / want to try
  • “Yuuuuuuuuup”
  • “You know what sounds good? Ice cream.”

Traveling mercies,