my car was totaled on our cross country move

On the first day of our cross-country move, in a small town in New Mexico, my tiny car was rear ended as we were attempting to pull into a restaurant for dinner.  

my car was totaled on our cross country move my car was totaled on our cross country move my car was totaled on our cross country move

Earlier that day

We were in Arizona for four months, exploring and working and living in a hotel.  We booked it out from North Carolina in June, driving our two tiny cars packed to the brim across the country over three and a half days in order to get a good hotel room.  We were able to snag a suite, with a kitchenette, separate bedroom, and couches for comfy movie nights.  I took advantage of our space and went through a full workout program during our stay.  I worked out five days a week for about an hour every day and got some abs by the end.

When it was time to leave, we were definitely a little sad.  We had made great friends and connections, not to mention all of the authentic Mexican food and National Parks to explore.  If you have been following my blog you know all about our adventures and how much we loved our time in the desert.  Granted, my whole family is in North Carolina and we have an incredible support group on the east coast, so we were definitely excited to head home as well.

my car was totaled on our cross country move my car was totaled on our cross country move my car was totaled on our cross country move

We weren’t able to leave town until the afternoon.  We packed up our cars, checked out of our hotel, said goodbye to our friends and had a quick lunch at Subway.  We sent texts to all of our family and friends to let them know we were hitting the road.  I promised my mom I would let her know once we arrived at our hotel for the evening.  Then we set off into the desert, going through our last border patrol check and peacing out toward the mountains.  

my car was totaled on our cross country move my car was totaled on our cross country move

We stopped in a tiny town in New Mexico and pulled into a parking lot to check our map and decide where to eat.  We settled on a nearby local restaurant that had great reviews online.  After turning back out onto the 25 mile per hour road, we drove a little ways and then turned left on another road.  We stopped, with our left blinkers on, intending to turn into the restaurant’s parking lot.

That’s when I got hit.

my car was totaled on our cross country move

Suddenly my head flew backward and my car lurched forward and my heart and lungs seemed to compress in my chest behind the tightened seatbelt.  My arms were glued to the steering wheel and as I began to comprehend what had happened, and my car lurched forward again, I slammed my feet on the brakes in a feeble attempt to avoid hitting Will’s car, which was directly in front of me.

Luckily, I didn’t hit Will.  He waved to me, indicating he was going to pull into the parking lot.  I rolled down my window to look back at the driver who hit me to see if he was okay.  He was in a huge truck.  My tiny Mazda hadn’t stood a chance.  

I shakily yelled back at him, “Are you okay?”  But I doubt he heard me.  I waved at him a few times, and indicated two or three times that I was going to pull into the parking lot to get us out of the road.  I tested my car and it seemed okay to drive, so I cautiously pulled into the parking lot and to the side to stop.  Will ran to my window and immediately asked if I was okay.  I started crying, I think simply from adrenaline and shock.  Also just because I cry over every strong emotion.  I got out of my car and we hugged.  That’s when we finally looked around for the other driver.

He wasn’t there.

Another shock.  It was a hit and run.  And it had happened to me.

The witnesses outside were shocked as well.  The restaurant owners brought us water.  A paramedic heard the crunch of my tiny car as it was hit, so he and his fellow paramedic came immediately and called the police for us.  

my car was totaled on our cross country move

Guys, I want to emphasize something right now.  Every single person we encountered on this journey was amazing.  They answered our questions, helped us however they could, and were on our team.  Even though we went through something hard (although unfortunately not uncommon), we did our best to treat everyone with respect while at the same time emphasizing our situation and being proactive in getting everything accomplished.  

We were in the middle of/on the first day of our cross country move.  We were not from New Mexico, we had no permanent address, and we were two thousand miles from our destination.  

As we waited for a tow truck, a truck pulled up and a man and his son got out, heading directly over to the police.  There was a small dent in the front bumper of the truck.  I nudged Will, who was on the phone with insurance.  

I want to protect involved individuals, so I’m not going to hand out specific here, but let’s just say that the dad of the driver who hit me deserves an award.  They came back, and we shook hands, and they apologized, and their insurance has been the bomb.

What a crazy rollercoaster of a night!

The tow truck driver, on arrival, inspected my car and told me it was okay to drive to Las Cruces.  Will asked if he could drive my Mazda for me and I took his little Fiesta.  We stopped for a quick dinner, got a hotel room, unpacked my car, and then went to the ER to get me checked out.

my car was totaled on our cross country move my car was totaled on our cross country move

I got x-rays of my right wrist and they did an exam but determined nothing was broken or bruised.  They gave me a shot for pain and a prescription for muscle relaxers, and advised that I not take more than half a pill at night if I was planning on driving the next day.

my car was totaled on our cross country move my car was totaled on our cross country move

The following day was Friday and insurance claims adjusters don’t really work on the weekend.  We had one day to get everything sorted out, otherwise we were going to be stuck in New Mexico all weekend.  

my car was totaled on our cross country move my car was totaled on our cross country move my car was totaled on our cross country move

To make a long story and a long day a lot shorter, we were able to meet with an insurance claims adjuster that afternoon and after working with us for a few hours, he determined that my car was a total loss.

Not to be dramatic, but literally six years to the day after I bought her, my baby died.

my car was totaled on our cross country move
Throwback to the day after I brought her home.

On one hand this was much more convenient.  We didn’t have to figure out how to get my car repaired and then to North Carolina, or how to get to North Carolina and then repaired.  Having it be a total loss meant that insurance could give us a check and a rental car and we could drive off into the sunset.

Which is pretty much exactly what we did.

my car was totaled on our cross country move my car was totaled on our cross country move my car was totaled on our cross country move

It was a bitter sweet moment, and I may have shed some tears as we said goodbye to my Mazda and peaced out in the HUGE Ford F-250 rental car (the only car they had on the lot for us).  At least we knew we could fit all of the stuff that was inside my car into the truck.

my car was totaled on our cross country move my car was totaled on our cross country move

We stopped and indulged a little for dinner at Cracker Barrel, drowning our sorrows in comfort food and consoling ourselves that the total loss was ultimately in our favor because we could finally get back on the road.

After dinner we drove a couple hours into Texas just to get somewhere.  I took half a muscle relaxer once we got to our hotel room and we went to sleep almost immediately.  It had been a crazy 28 hours.

my car was totaled on our cross country move my car was totaled on our cross country move

The rest of our trip was absolutely uneventful.  We ate dinner one night at the fanciest Panera I have ever seen.  We still listened to podcasts and stopped for Subway, gas station dinners, and tiny donuts.  Will drove the truck (and LOVED every minute of it) and I drove his car.  We took a different route home than we had planned in order to save some time.  Our favorite hotel was a La Quinta somewhere near the eastern border of Texas.  Our room had crazy tall ceilings and was exceptionally nice.

All in all, even after arriving back home in North Carolina, purchasing a new car, and other grand adventures we have been on since coming back, we are grateful.  We don’t know God’s purpose yet in the accident, and maybe we never will.  Sometimes everything isn’t about us.  Maybe it is about someone we encountered along the journey.  

Or maybe for us, it was about having each other and learning to cope together in a stressful situation.  Having Will by my side through all of it was the greatest blessing.  It was much less stressful to go through it with him and while I would rather never total a car again, I would gladly say I’m excited to do life with my husband, especially during the rough patches of life.

Until next time,
Jamie out

#everydaymoments

Are you living in your everyday, or are you living for the weekends? 

It is our daily lives that make up who we are, and our everyday moments that make this life worth living.  Find the beauty in your ordinary.  Take some photos and build some memories.  We remember the big things, but the little things are everything.

Friday//

#everydaymoments | august #everydaymoments | august #everydaymoments | august #everydaymoments | august #everydaymoments | august #everydaymoments | august #everydaymoments | august #everydaymoments | august #everydaymoments | august #everydaymoments | august #everydaymoments | august #everydaymoments | august #everydaymoments | august

  1. My camera bag that Will got me for my birthday.  It’s the perfect adventure accessory, and necessary when you need your camera for #everydaymoments blog day.  
  2. Where I sit and work and blog and read every day out here in Arizona!  Curtains wide open with some coffee/water/tea, my computer, my phone, and the world wide open to me.
  3. That planner life!  I’m using a Happy Planner this year, and use it to time block out my work life, schedule photography jobs, make sure I have time to work out, etc.  It keeps me on track!  I also write down personal life stuff so it also functions as a sort of diary.
  4. Lunch time.  I’m trying to be good—eat a lot of veggies and make sure I eat carbs and protein before I work out.  
  5. William came home for lunch!  He’s my favorite, and he even loves me when I’ve been all alone and introvert-y all day and it takes me a while to become interested in talking to someone again.
  6. I work out almost every afternoon so I don’t wear a lot of makeup these days.  
  7. Our little hotel bathroom with our little hotel hair dryer and our hotel towels and our hotel soaps.
  8. Work out time!  I’m going through 80 Day Obsession (a Beachbody program) right now.  This day was Total Body Core which uses weights and strength slides in phase two.  This workout was legit.
  9. I always track which weights I use and compare with the last time I did the workout to make sure that I’m pushing myself to improve every time.
  10. Chocolate milk.  Not only is it delicious, but it’s a good post-workout recovery drink.  I’m down.
  11. Will got home from work a little early.  We ordered some pizza and then got a little cute (AKA I put some makeup on) for a chill and relaxed date night.  
  12. Going to the movies to see the new Mission Impossible!
  13. Our favorite candies for movie viewing.  Do you guys get candy and/or popcorn when you go to the movie theater?

Hoping you had a fantastic weekend and Monday.  We’ll see you next time!
Jamie out.

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Coronado National Memorial

A lot of people love going on adventures.  Often times they are small—making a run to the gas station for ice cream, only to find that they’re closed and instead of admitting defeat, you run all around town searching for your favorite treat.  Sometimes the adventures are quite large—a honeymoon to Maine or an Alaskan cruise.

When it comes to adventures, Will and I really enjoy National Parks.

Will used to work for the Utah Conservation Corps, which means that he lived and worked outdoors while working conservation projects around the state.  I say this to impress upon you how much he loves and is accustomed to backpacking, camping, hiking, and the great outdoors.  He grew up in a state that has Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Arches, to name only a few.  

I grew up in a family that loved camping, albeit most of the time in a tent-trailer.  “Glamping,” some might call it.  My sister and I begrudgingly joined in on hikes and it wasn’t until after college that I started to love them.  

I took a trip with my family to the Appalachians and the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina a few years ago and found some National Parks Passports at their visitor center.  The passports are like any passport, except that they’re to National Parks, not to other countries.  Every National Park has an visitor center and a stamp station for the passports.  

Being of limited means, I eyed the passports longingly and then left.  A couple years later, I took Will back to the same spot and we each picked up a passport, deciding that our new life goals were going to be filling them up with stamps.

Arizona, we are happily discovering, is FULL of National Parks for us to explore.

Coronado National Memorial Coronado National Memorial

The Coronado National Memorial is one beautiful contribution to the National Parks community.  Located along the border of Arizona and Mexico, it climbs up from the valley and into the Huachuca Mountains.  Conquistador Francisco Vásquez de Coronado conducted the first expedition into the southwest in 1540 and the memorial serves to recognize the ties that bind the United States and Mexico.  Check out this website if you want to learn more about the “journey of conquest filled with exploration, wonder—and cruelty” that the europeans and Aztecs experienced.

Interestingly to myself and William, the memorial was established on November 5, 1952.  He and I met on November 5, 2016, so it’s always a date that sticks out to us.  (If you want to read about how we met, click here)

Coronado National Memorial

The Visitor Center

Our first stop was, obviously, to stamp our passports.  

The visitor centers has a small exhibit that mostly talks about the blending of cultures, emphasizing food and spices and highlighting the Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos).  They also have a cute little book store!

Coronado National Memorial Coronado National Memorial Coronado National Memorial Coronado National Memorial

God bless the Spanish for brining coffee and cacao beans.  

There are no entrance fees for Coronado National Memorial, by the way, so it’s a super easy trip!  It’s only half an hour from Sierra Vista and has a couple hiking trails and a lot of picnic tables.  

Coronado National Memorial

Coronado Cave Trail

Unlike our recent trip to Bisbee, we were smart enough to do a little bit of research before we visited the park.  We discovered that there is a cave trail leading to a 600 foot deep cave that hikers are welcome and encouraged to explore.  You don’t need a permit, but it is encouraged for explorers to get information at the visitor center.  

The trailhead is just a short drive from the visitor center and it’s a half mile hike up the mountain.  See—THIS is why I’m working out five days a week.  So that I can climb half a mile up a mountain and survive!  Haha!  (I’m only half joking, by the way.)

Coronado National Memorial Coronado National Memorial

Also, more advice—Arizona is HOT.  If it’s going to be in the mid to upper 90s, don’t hike after 10am.  We were lucky that it was only about 89 degrees that day and therefore we had until about 2pm to get all of our hiking in.  Heat stroke is real, people!

Coronado National Memorial Coronado National Memorial

The Coronado Cave

600 feet long, about 70 feet wide at most spots, and home to a select few stalactites and stalagmites, this was one of the coolest caves I’ve ever been in (without a tour guide).  

Coronado National Memorial Coronado National Memorial

Literally.  So much fun.

We climbed down the rocks (pictured above) and then took a few minutes to get our flashlights situated before heading in deeper.  

It is PITCH BLACK inside of that cave, y’all.  Will gave me the head lamp and he used a flashlight.  I was surprised at how massive the cave felt, especially with our limited light sources.  We climbed all around and explored a lot of side tunnels, but mainly kept to the real deal.  It was so much fun!  And a lot cooler than outside in the sunshine, that’s for sure.

At one point we turned off all of our lights to just sit in the dark.  It was nuts.  I couldn’t handle it.  I just kept picturing the creatures from the movie The Descent and had to turn my head lamp back on.  

Coronado National Memorial Coronado National Memorial

After a proper adventure and exploring all of the nooks and crannies, we climbed back out feeling excited and accomplished.  The half mile hike back to our car felt like nothing.

After spotting some deer who were crossing the road, we got back in the car and drove the winding road up to the Coronado Peak to sneak some views of the canyon before we had to head home.

Coronado National Memorial Coronado National Memorial Coronado National Memorial Coronado National Memorial

The valley is definitely greener than normal because of monsoon season.  I’m not complaining, though.  Apparently they get to experience all four season at Coronado.  I would love to see this place with some snow.

Coronado National Memorial Coronado National Memorial Coronado National Memorial

Honestly, we have nothing but good things to say about the Coronado National Memorial.  We had a great time!  We’re super glad that we looked it up ahead of time, otherwise we would not have been prepared for the cave trail.  Ending the trip with a windy drive up the mountain followed by a view of the valley was perfect.  

Do you like exploring caves or do you get freaked out by the dark?  

Until next time,
Jamie out

Coronado National Memorial
We aren’t dorks at all.

when i grow up, i want to be an astronaut // from the archives

In honor of my past love, my one and only Jamie Daily blog and her would-be 5 year anniversary, here is a blog post from her archives.  One of my favorite moments in which I share my heart for the stars and how one can feel so very small and meaningless amongst the vastness of creation. 

my first time // in boone

I have been fascinated with stars and space for years. Take me out in the middle of nowhere and I will be content to watch the skies for hours. Clouds, storms, clear nights, clear mornings, rain, lightning, moonless nights, harvest moons, full moons. Everything. It holds my awe every day.

In another life I would love to be an astronaut. Just the thought of being out in space takes my breath away—where there is no air and no sound, and there are more stars in the sky than you can even imagine. Behind you is the earth and you can see the side of clouds and storms and land that you rarely get it see, on a scale that you never get to witness, and every film you’ve ever watched about anything at all would be diminished to nothingness because your reality would be so overwhelmingly unbelievable.

How crazy is it that space is unfathomably large, and that it is always expanding? What is it expanding into? And how is it doing it at the speed of light? What is this nothingness that is becoming a space that is so huge that the stars we see might not even be alive any more? Stars that have died years and years and years ago are still smiling at us.

“How crazy is it that some of the stars we see aren’t even there any more? It’s just that their light is still hitting us. It’s like their souls are still with us.” -Ruben.

It’s like how love continues even after someone is gone. Because let’s face it, love—true love—is unconditional. It is not dependent on the actions or presence of someone. It is not an emotion. It is a choice and a lifestyle. It is an impact on your soul—an impact that will radically change you and will never leave you.

When I look at the sky, all I see in all of the beauty and the majesty, is how Great my God is. I think of how infinitely large the world is, how much larger the universe is, and how much greater my God is than that. And then there’s me, watching the clouds billow in the summer sky as I float in an above ground pool in a backyard. So seemingly small and insignificant in relation to everything else. And yet, among all of His creations, God also thought the world needed one of me too. He knit me together, knows the number of every curly hair on my head, and understands every thought and emotion that cascades through my body. He is privy to the hurricane inside of me while everyone else sees the calm in the storm. He loved me before I was born, and He knew everything I would ever do before I ever had the inclination to do it.

He knows the things that have broken me. He knows the things that have strengthened me. He has put words, and people, and books, and music, and art in my life to build me. He knows that I ache for the unconditional love that no one on earth is able to provide. And while I float on my back in the pool that man built, and look up at the skies that are stained with the colors of sunset, I see again and again the promise of forever in the presence of the God who can create such majesty.

“Live from the abundant place that you are loved.” -Lysa TerKeurst

Don’t be overwhelmed by the vastness of the universe, by the size of your life, or by your shortcomings in the face of everything. You have purpose, and that unconditional love that you are craving isn’t as impossible to find as you might think it is.

Live loved.

Should you like to read more blogs like this one, click here.

Until next time,

Jamie