#coffeechat with Jamie

Hi friends, long time no talk!    As I sit here in my cozy home with a hot coffee complete with pumpkin spice creamer, I felt the need to update my friends on all things Wamie!

Since becoming a Beachbody coach in the spring and devoting more time to my health and fitness, life has become a bit overwhelming and, well, here we are, five months after my last blog post.  And I am oddly at peace with that.  Life is not linear.  It has its ups, among the peaks of dreams and accomplishments, and its valleys in the troubles or sadness or growing pains of life.  And while WamiesWorld and sharing our story will always be a part of us, it will share in our peaks and valleys as well.

In the past five months, we have had our fair share of highs and lows.  We traveled to the Outer Banks in April to celebrate our first anniversary.  It was an amazing weekend, with an adorable hotel room right on the beach, plenty of shrimp and seafood, exploring lighthouses and National Parks, and time away just the two of us.  I cannot express how blessed we were by our first year of marriage.  We were able to spend so much time, just the two of us, to grow and learn about each other in marriage.  If you have the opportunity to move away from friends and family in your first year of marriage, I am all for it!  You will grow in ways you wouldn’t have had you stayed in your same routine!  

In June we were able to take a week and go to Walt Disney World for one of the most magical vacations of our lives!  It was Will’s first time (my fourth), and let’s just say that he has completely bought into the experience.  He would love to be an annual pass holder (wouldn’t we all!?) and never vacation anywhere else again!  We met a wonderful woman at our hotel who visits WDW every year and takes her grandkids.  Can you say goals?  

Following our phenomenal week in Florida, we flew out to Utah to spend some quality time with Will’s family.  We were able to see two of his siblings and their families, and spend a lot of time with his parents.  We explored a piece of Bryce Canyon National Park—a natural wonder of southern Utah that has some of the least amount of light pollution in the continental US—followed by a dinosaur museum and animal style burgers at In-N-Out.

My sister and their family moved away to Tennessee around the fourth of July, where they bought a house and started new jobs.  We have enjoyed road tripping through the mountains to see them and explore their new home.

We are currently in a season that requires a lot of dedication and sacrifice for Will’s work, and although we cannot discuss further details online, we ask that you keep us in your prayers for the next severallll months.

Rapid fire questions:

  • What are you reading? The Anne of Green Gables series.
  • What are you watching? Grey’s Anatomy, Friends, and Big Brother.
  • How’s Blue? She’s great! And huge. Her first birthday is very soon.
  • What workout program are you doing? LIIFT4 is a program that combines lifting and high intensity interval training and is four days a week.
  • What is your favorite meal prep meal lately? Burrito bowls! Guacamole multiple times a week? Yes please!

If you want to follow along on our adventures, turning a house into a home, and all of the highs and lows of everyday life, click the subscribe button on the right.  It doesn’t send you crazy stuff or give your information to anyone—it just sends blog updates directly to you!

Until next time,
Jamie out.

the road home & the craziest lightning storm ever

And just like that, 5 Days of Blogging week has come to an end!  I hope you’ve all enjoyed it!  It’s been very exciting for me, personally.  I’ve been itching to blog again for a while now, and finally getting back at it has been a dream.  

Starting next week, I will be committing to post once a week, so keep an eye out for something new every Monday!  Until then, please enjoy these wonderful desert landscapes.

the drive home

The most beautiful desert drive I have ever experienced.  

the drive home the drive home

After an overnight road trip and a whirlwind reunion (click here to read that blog post), we loaded up our little Ford Fiesta and drove off into the Utah desert.  Will grew up surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscapes most of us only dream about.  Naturally, our first stop for photos at a look out was maybe only an hour after we left his mom’s house.  

the drive home

Personally, it’s my dream to see the Grand Canyon.  Well… not just SEE it, but hike it, and explore it, and photograph it, and kayak through it.  I want to be a proper adventurer through the Grand Canyon.  And friends, it is going to happen at some point during these next few months.  I can feel it in my bones.

the drive home the drive home

As we left Utah and headed for Arizona, the desert forest and mountains rose around us.  It smelled like camping.  Like that southern California, Sierra Nevadas kind of camping.  With the pine trees of the desert, not the pine trees of the Carolinas.  They have reddish bark and are spread out with little to no bracken and brush to surround them.  They remind me of the red woods of northern California, or the dryness of Spooner Lake in Nevada.

the drive home the drive home

We passed by the northern rim of the Grand Canyon and we resisted.  We watched a tour bus full of people pull into a restaurant.  We saw 4Runners with dogs and hikers, with kayaks on their racks.  And we didn’t go the 45 minutes out of our way to glimpse it.  

We did, however, stop several more times within the next couple hours because the views were.  just.  stunning.

the drive home

We rounded this corner and the trees went away, and the desert rocks and brush rose around us, and then there were these views of red rock and desert plains that went off into the distance.  I’ll tell ya, I have lived in super green places like Oregon and British Columbia and North Carolina, where you think that this must be the definition of beautiful.  But the desert is something else.  I’ve never seen so many shades of orange, and red, and yellow, and brown.  It is breathtaking.

the drive home the drive home the drive home

At this point in the drive, we decided that we needed to stop stopping everywhere.  Because we could have stopped every single mile, the landscape was just that incredible.  It didn’t help that just a few miles later we drove over a canyon and a river.  

the drive home the drive home the drive home

I could have stared at this river for ages.  We had barely made it into Arizona at this point and still had to drive almost all the way to Mexico.  So we took a few quick shots, and then reluctantly got back on the road.

the drive home the drive home the drive home

As we neared Tucson later that evening, we encountered a crazy storm.  It was so exciting!  The wind picked up and rocked the car.  It whipped the sand and created great clouds along the ground.  The skies got dark and in the distance we watched the most amazing lightning storm we’ve ever seen as it grew nearer and nearer.

the drive home

It eventually turned into a torrential downpour and the flash flooding was real.

the drive home the drive home

We passed through the storm and made it home after about ten hours of driving, grateful for an amazing weekend, a road trip for the books, and ready to crash and sleep immediately.  

If you enjoyed blogging week and those lighting pictures, please give this post a like and leave me a comment to let me know what you want to see next!  Don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already and I’ll talk to you on Monday!

Until next time,

Jamie out

the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion

Will is from Utah and his parents still live in the house he grew up in.  He had the kind of locational stability growing up that I got jealous of and longed for a bit in my teen years.  He has three brothers and one sister and they all live in this little clump in the western states right now.  We took advantage of the closeness of family almost immediately after moving to Arizona and road tripped up for a big family reunion—his mom’s 50th birthday party!

the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion

Friday, July 6, 2018

I spent the day packing and cleaning.  I worked out (leg day), did laundry, and prepped everything to go so that the minute Will got off work, we would be ready to leave.

We loaded up the car, got gas, and by 4:56pm we were on the road, driving north for Utah.

the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion

One thing you may not know about me is that I’m actually really self conscious about taking photos and videos sometimes.  I hate being a bother, or getting in someone’s way, so I really dislike asking for people to pose, or move, or stop their lives so that I can take their photo.  This is perhaps why I love capturing candid moments so much—I don’t have to ask for a whole lot, except to allow me to photograph the moment.  (Disclaimer: if it’s an actual session where I’m photographing a family, for example, that’s completely different because the client has literally paid me to boss them around a little bit from behind my camera.)

Will is a huge blessing for me.  He notices moments too.  He sees things that are beautiful and he asks, “do you want to take a picture?  Do you want me to pull over?  I’m going to pull over.”  And then I get this little boost of confidence because my husband believes in me, and he can see the beauty in the moment too.  There was a lot of that on this road trip, and it really filled my heart.

the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion

It’s a little over 600 miles from our place in Arizona to his parents’ in Utah, and Will drove the entire way that night.  What a hero.  We listened to the music on my iTunes alphabetically by starting with the first “A” song that came up and tried to see how far we could get.  It’s weeks later now and we’re still trying to get to songs that start with a “B.”  We also listened to The Hobbit because we hadn’t finished it on our move out from North Carolina.

the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion

I passed out dead asleep a little after ten because I’m an old woman and really struggle to stay up late any more.  Will powered through, with only a few stops for gas and sustenance, and we arrived just after 4am to a very quiet welcome from his older brother John.  We slept another four hours and then woke up excited for a day of celebrating and reuniting.  

Will’s sister Cherie had a fantastic vision for their mom’s party, so we all became dutiful workers and errand runners and balloon inflators and amateur cake decorators for several hours.  Cherie even masterminded a couple balloon arches and jars full of cake pops to top everything off.  We filled things with helium and twisted crepe paper from the ceiling and I really regretted leg day after climbing up and down from stools for a while.

the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion

The party itself wasn’t a surprise, but all of the decor sure was, and Will’s mom Terri had the best reaction to the reveal.  Way to go, Cherie!

the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion

It was a great evening, complete with a taco bar (this girl needs absolutely nothing else in life but tacos), presents, a lot of cake pops, and fun 50 questions about life for Terri.  

the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion

All of the nieces and nephews were super pleased about the cake pops also.

Can you tell I like cake pops?  How many more times can I say “cake pops?”

the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion

These photos were taken about a year apart.  First of all, we’re missing a brother, but both times were super fantastic photo ops, and John always gives me the best faces.  

A crazy desert storm of wind and rain brought the party inside and we lasted long into the night with card games of all kinds.  My favorite is Nerts (very similar to Dutch Blitz)—think Speed and Solitaire combined, and then add about 10 people playing and your brain might explode if you aren’t prepared.  I have a tendency to test friendships with this game, because I’m very good at it and I don’t let other people win.

I’m also very humble.

I seem to remember rolling into bed around midnight after struggling to keep my eyes open for a while.  It was a blessing to get several hours of uninterrupted sleep.  

By the next morning, I couldn’t walk properly because of Friday’s leg day, and it was time for a Shugart style breakfast.  If you can think of a breakfast food, we probably ate it.  There are eggs and potatoes (my personal favorite), not to mention pancakes, sausage, bacon, french toast, coffee, tea, juice, milk, and all the fixin’s (as they say in the south).  I was way too interested in gorging myself to take the time to photograph the food, but Terri and I did make sure we rounded up all the troops to take a big family photo before everyone left.

the overnight road trip & the whirlwind reunion

This is my first big complete Shugart family photo that I’ve been in!  First of many!  I’m stoked to see how it changes over the years.  Also, I think every family deserves a token very-tall-man.  Thanks for being ours, BJ!  

We said our goodbyes, packed up the car, and set off again to head back home.  What a whirlwind adventure!  Just my kind, to be honest.  

Will and I stopped at so many gorgeous places for photos on the drive home that I think that deserves a blog post unto itself.  With Will and I combined, I think our future road trips might take a little longer than expected, due to many many stops for photos, and I’m totally okay with that.

Until next time,

Jamie out.