Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Past 10 Years in a Nut Shell

Ok, so here’s the edited, condensed, and “neat” version of the past ten years…just to get you up to speed so I can start posting about current adventures! 
Despite my dynamic, adventure-filled upbringing, I was always one of those people who had a plan and clearly defined goals. I always had a vision of what my life was going to be like when I “grew up.” In 5th grade, after witnessing a large brush fire while staying at my Aunt’s house near Yakima, WA, I decided I was going to be a firefighter-paramedic. My Aunt and uncle were both fire fighters and I will never forget the moment when I heard over the radio that the fire was headed straight for us! I was thrilled! The paramedic idea came about through the popular TV show, “Rescue 911.” This is the first time I remember wanting to give myself to something solely for the purpose of helping others!

By the time I was in 8th grade I had completely changed course and was going to be a Volcanologist, traveling the world studying volcanoes. This carried with me through high school, after which I entered Western Washington University as a Geology major. I learned here….that geology is HARD! Unfortunately I got a D in my first introductory geology class and decided that this was not the path for me. I dropped out of Western, took some Nursing pre-requisites at a local community college and then decided to take a break from school all together. I spent time volunteering with my local Search and Rescue unit, returning to that need for public service. 

Search and Rescue Mission: Devils Peak

 Although I was an excellent student in high school, I was in no way prepared for university. I was in no position to decide at that moment what I was going to study-the precursor to choosing a career. Thankfully, one single event changed the course of my life. My grandparents took our entire family on an Alaskan Cruise. 

My Grandpa Paul and I

My Brothers and Cousin

Ice Climbing in Juneau with my Brother
The moment I stepped off that ship after the cruise, I sent in a portfolio applying to work aboard as an assistant cruise director. Three months later, two weeks before Christmas, I flew to San Diego and met my new ship. For the next year, I traveled throughout Central America, South America, The Caribbean, and Alaska. 

My coworker Alex and I on Formal Night

Farewell Presentation on the Last Day of a Cruise

And there was Plenty of this!

Looks and sounds amazing right!? I’m not going to lie, it was absolutely incredible! (That’s an adventure I will save for another blog!) In the midst of all the luxury, exotic countries, foreign friends, and parties, I couldn’t help but feel that my brain was needing some serious intellectual exercise. After a year, I hung up my line dancing boots and my Bingo lingo and headed for land!

Graduation Party

My Mentor Dr. Elbert and I
I found myself in Seattle, the fall of 2005, finishing up my associate’s degree and working at a popular bar and grill. I rented a small apartment located in the daylight basement of a nice house. It was perfect. City life was an adjustment for this small town girl. I felt a bit insignificant and found myself longing for quiet, simple country living. My tie to Seattle was further established with my acceptance to Seattle University. By this time, I was an “older” student, working full time to pay my way. Let me tell you, college is a completely different experience when you have a bit of ground behind you in life. I finally received my Bachelor’s of Public Affairs with an emphasis in Emergency Management in the Spring of 2008. Finally! 

Excelsior Peak

I accepted and internship with a county level emergency management office back near my home town. I can’t tell you how relieved, excited and thankful I was to be back in small town Washington! My three and a half years in Seattle, I swear , cut ten years off my lifespan! The traffic, the pace, the industrial air…it all weighed heavy on me. Back in “the valley” I was free to enjoy all the activities that seemed to be put on the back burner while living in the city- camping, hiking, search and rescue, and reconnecting with old friends.

Excelsior Pass

Glaciers of Mt Shuksan 

I also joined the local fire department where I earned my Firefighter 1 Certificate and EMT Certificate. I was home!
Fire Academy Graduation

Our Recruit Academy

I have left the best for last! In the fall of 2007, I met “A 6’4” Beach God,” at least that’s what his son called him over dinner one night. We have been together for a little over four years- four great years. At the moment we find ourselves living on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, as a result of Beach God’s military duty. Darn!!  
We’ve been living on the Windward, or East, side of the island in the quaint, beachy town of Kailua for the last year and half, where the feel is similar to back home.
Ko Olina
Kailua Beach Sunrise

Luau Time
Kailua Beach

 You run into people you know at the grocery store or the beach. Everyone knows exactly who you are talking about when you describe the crazy, ice-head guy who rides the bicycle with the ape-hanger handle bars and it’s not uncommon to run into friends during a 3am, post-bar Zippy’s run (Hawaii’s 24 hour fast food joint). It is officially safe to say, I love Kailua Town!


  1. Help me! Two questions: Why is that Little tiny transparent picture randomly in the middle of my post and how do i get it off? Second, why when i compose my post exactly the way i want it, then i hit preview and everything looks different!?

  2. Help me! Two questions: Why is that Little tiny transparent picture randomly in the middle of my post and how do i get it off? Second, why when i compose my post exactly the way i want it, then i hit preview and everything looks different!?