What’s our story?

(Warning: This is super long! We’ve been married for 14 years. We have a long book!)

Our story begins in 2001. She was a doe-eyed brunette. He was a gray eyed, handsome soldier in uniform. And the rest is history. We married just six months after we met! Our marriage began in a tiny apartment in Fayetteville, NC. But a mere three months later, we received orders and packed our bags for an adventure in Vicenza, Italy. We lived in Italy for four years eating, drinking, and sightseeing our way through Europe. “Did we learn any Italian?” A few words, but we don’t really remember a lick of it. (I’m just pointing this out because we are asked this every time we tell the tale of our European adventures.) After Darrell served a year deployment to Iraq and a year deployment to Afghanistan, we decided it was time to part ways from the Army, so we chose the coastal city of Wilmington, NC to settle in. We bought the house, the cars, the boat, the whole nine yards and tried to play grown ups for a while. About two years later we sold everything and moved back to my home town. Neither of us really liked the beach anyway. What were we thinking? Back in my hometown of Coats, NC, we reduced our living expenses and worked hard to get back on our feet. We were lost in the world at the time, but we found one common ground that we could both agree on. We loved to exercise. Our next move was to an apartment in Holly Springs, NC. We really loved that quaint little town. (Although we hear it is not so quaint any longer. That’s a shame.) We kept working, exercising, and looking for our place in life. Eventually we decided to rent a garage in the apartment complex to house all of our gym equipment. We were focused. Not long after, we began drawing a crowd while doing cross training circuits in the parking lot. We began training a few of those interested people in that garage gym and we thought we had finally found our calling. A few months later we were training too many people in such a tiny space and it was the middle of summer. Talk about hot! We quickly seen the garage was not going to work for us on a long term basis, so we began throwing around the idea of starting our own business. Be legit in a legit personal training studio. Wow. We found the perfect, small 500 sq. ft. store front and moved in the following month. The next month after our grand opening, all but three of our clients quit. We hung in there, footing the business bills for a few months, and miraculously the next thing we knew, we were out of room, again. It just so happened that the business in the adjoining suite was moving out and it was becoming available within the month. Sweet! During the time we were getting comfy in our new whole storefront, we were getting cozy in a new town home in Cary. Yes, we moved again. The business flourished. We had worked our butt’s off from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm every day to claim the right of finally being successful business owners. Working this schedule for about six months, we were exhausted to say the least. So we took the first vacation we had taken in years to Boone, North Carolina. We camped for a week in the great outdoors and enjoyed the simplicity of hiking, cooking over a fire, and absolutely no technology. We were sad when we had to return to Cary. Cary just could not offer us the slow paced mountain life, which is secretly what we longed for. A mere two weeks after returning to life as normal, we made preparations to move and take our business with us. Not long after moving to Boone our business failed miserably. Our training concept was just not a hit for these folks. Hanging our heads, we decided to close the doors of our training studio for good. Little did we know at the time, this was the kick in the butt we needed to start exploring other interests. Our life focus changed to hiking, trail running, blogging, music, traveling, actually reading more than one book a year, and the list just goes on and on. We were no longer robots. We have enjoyed living the less pressured normal 9 to 5 life, but we get antsy quickly and all things must come to an end. Which brings us to our next chapter, our next adventure – The Trip. Then, The Trip was postponed. Oh my. We’re pregnant. Since life took another turn, we are currently nesting with Baby Taylor.

What is our blog about?

Our blog, like the vast majority of other personal blogs, is a place to share the ordinary, sometimes exciting, and ever-changing things that are happening in our life with friends and family. Somewhere along the way it turned into an outdoor enthusiast’s travel blog. Then after the birth of our first child, morphed into a mommy blog. Which brings us to our present venture, an outdoor enthusiasts traveling mommy blog, of sorts.

Who are those deliciously cute pugs?

Charlie is our handsome, banana loving, 12-year-old pug. We have had him since he was only 2 months old! He also may be referred to as The Tap Dancing Terrorist, Mr. Chuckles, or Chooch.

(Charlie, our loyal companion of almost 13 years, passed away in late August of 2014. We will forever miss him. Our sweet memories are forever sealed on this blog.) 

Charlotte is our petite, dainty 12-year-old pug. We hold no authority in her life. She makes her own schedule. Must be the Hungarian blood line. You may also hear her referred to as Moo.

Romeo is our loving 10-year-old velcro pug. We adopted him into our family through the Mid Atlantic Pug Rescue in August of 2015 and he has been velcroed to his new mama’s heels ever since.

How many places have we lived exactly?

Since we have been married, we have lived in Dunn, NC – Fayetteville, NC – Vicenza, Italy – Wilmington, NC – Leland, NC – Coats, NC – Holly Springs, NC – Cary, NC – Banner Elk, NC – Boone, NC – Damascus, VA – Eden, NC – Blowing Rock, NC – Hainesport, NJ – Damascus, VA.

Do we have any children?

We have one snugly Baby Taylor born in January 2015, (you can read about her birth story here), and four fur babies, (2 pugs + 2 rabbits).

What kind of work do we do?

My uber-talented hubby creates fire pits and planters for our little shop, Pits and Pots.

How many countries have we traveled to?

We have traveled the far ends of Italy, Austria, Kosovo*, Switzerland, San Marino, Germany, England, Iraq*, Afghanistan*, and parts of the United States. (* = Denotes travel solely by Darrell.) For a full list of places, view my Travel Memories Pinterest board.

Where is our favorite place we have traveled to so far?

Cinque Terre, Italy. Hands down.

What do we want to accomplish with this unconventional, unpredictable life of ours?

First and foremost, to not reach the end of our lives and say I wish I would have . . . .

Second, to show other people that when you say “I can’t,” in reality you are saying ‘I’m not willing to put in the effort to accomplish my dreams.’ We don’t have a lot of money, we don’t have college educations and high paying jobs, we don’t have credit cards with rewards points. We just have the desire to travel, experience new culture, meet new people, eat a lot of new food, and spend a lot of time outdoors. We are simply doing what it takes to make that happen. Although this is our example, this principle can be applied to anyone. You want to lose weight and feel better? You have to spend time researching food and experiment in the kitchen to find out what works for your body. You don’t have time to exercise? You have to make time. Period. You want to do squats but have bad knees? Start with Air Squats and rehabilitation exercises. Steadily introduce new movement. You want to volunteer? Hello! Get in your car and go do it! Who cares if you have to miss work. The price of the experience, the people you will meet, and the feeling of fulfillment far outweigh the new shoes you could have bought with that money. You hate your job? Then why on earth are you spending more hours of your day doing something you hate instead of something you love? It doesn’t matter how old you are, how much time you have left on this earth, how much money you have, how bad something hurts, how long it may take, what you may have to sell or give up. If you truly want something, stop making excuses for yourself by saying “I can’t.” Get out there and live your life!

Have any other questions? Just ask and we will add it to our FAQ!


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