Sunday, February 15, 2009

Into the wilderness!

Friday morning Brandon, me & the pups all headed to the Lincoln National Forest outside Cloudcroft, NM for some camping, hiking, and big adventures! The puppies were so excited to get in the car and head out of town....they love traveling! Maggie gets so excited she can't contain herself! (see video below) Brew man just chills on the console in the middle of the two front seat or in his tent that he makes out of blankets in the backseat! Roxi is hilarious! If she was a kid she would be the one that keeps asking "are we there yet!?!" After a few hours in the car she gets board and tries to fit up in the back seat window! HILARIOUS!

Bran driving with the pups!

Driving makes Brew sleepy!
Roxi loves the fresh air!

I'm bored! :o)

Maggie is SOOOO excited!

Once we arrived we got out to find a place to set up camp! It was so beautiful there! There was snow on the ground so we needed to try to find a flat dry spot with some trees to block the breeze to set up camp! We found the perfect spot...but man carrying all of our stuff up and down the mountain where are camp was was killer! (Maybe we should not bring so much stuff next time!) Altitude sucks the life out of you! We stayed at an altitude of about 8500 feet. After everything was brought up to set up camp Bran put the tent together and I went around and gathered wood for the fire! It was about 43 degrees while we were setting up camp - just perfect! :o)

We're finally here!

Our humble abode :o)

Gathering wood for the fire!

I was a wood gathering fool!

After camp was set up and a few rounds of romping around with the puppies we went and put on our layers before the sun went down so that we would not get cold! The low Friday night was supposed to be about 18! But we were not worried because we came prepared! I think I had on 30 layers, but at least I was warm and toasty! Roxi played in the snow all night! She loved it! All the puppies got to roam free and explore everything! I think they were in puppy paradise! Friday night we had bear burgers with jalapeno poppers and Bushes beans! It was yummy! The puppies even got to split a bear burger! We stayed by the fire relaxing for the rest of the night enjoying all the sights and sounds around us while we drank our hot chocolate! It was so peaceful! I think you could see every star in the sky where we were at! Just beautiful! Roxi we found out is a pyro and obsessed with fire! I am surprised she still has hair on her tail - she almost burnt it off a million times! She is not afraid of anything - crazy girl!

Maggie snuggling with Dad!

Me & my wilderness man!

Bundled up with the pups!

Roxi almost being caught on fire! AGAIN :O)

That night when we finally headed to bed the water in the dogs bowl that was setting outside was already starting to freeze! Brrrrr! We all got bundled up in our sleeping bags - Brewster slept with me, Maggie with Brandon, and we made Roxi a comfy bed. She does not like to sleep in close quarters with people - she gets too hot! Brandon slept with his gun by our bed just in case we got some late night visitors from the wilderness! We were awakened a few times that night by the howling of coyotes! It was kind of a bone chilling sound because of how it echos through the mountains and trees! And then 4am hit and we all had to pee like a mad people! Which means I had to head outside in the 18 degree weather (according to Brandon's watch) pull down all my layers and expose my butt to that cold air! Thanks goodness it was not as bad as I had imagined it to be! I had a cold booty, but not too bad! We all went back to sleep until about 7 am and then got up to start the day to an even colder temperature! Roxi actually got cold that morning and woke us up! So if Roxi got cold - you can just imagine how cold it was!

Roxi enjoying the morning!

Bran was the first out of the tent to start the fire to get us warm and cook breakfast! He made us some yummy breakfast burritos that we all gobbled down! After breakfast Roxi & Maggie joined me and we went and washed dishes in the snow! Once camp was all cleaned up and we were all changed we headed out to explore and hike! This was the view from our tent Saturday morning.....

So pretty....

So beautiful!

Look at all the pretty trees!

Cleaning up after breakfast!

Maggie supervising my dish washing!

We walked through pretty much everything during our hike- dry land, snow, water, mud! Poor Brew and Maggie had little icicles hanging off of their tummy - but believe me and it did not slow them down! Roxi was all over the place! She was in puppy heaven! We saw lots of animal tracks in the snow! The puppies even caught a mole - it was hilarious! (see video below) During our hike we also came across an elk carcase. We are thinking that this is what the coyotes were howling about the night before because it appeared that it had just been freshly eaten! We thought it was pretty cool and took some funny pics with it! (I know some may think we are demented - this is what happens when you work in the medical field! :o) Bran and I also made a Man vs Wild video! Pretty hilarious - but only funny if you have seen Bear in that show! Poor elk! Brandon got to try out his new day hike backpack and loved it! He gave it 2 thumbs up! Here are some pics from the hike......

The puppies getting in touch with their wild side!

Roxi thinking about how she is going to get to the other side!

She stayed like this forever - so cute!

She would push ice and snow into the stream that then get in the water and chase the ice!

Ice catcher!

Lovin' the snow :o)

Brew supervising from dry land!

Maggie running along the stream!
Hurry up! Lets go!

The puppies caught dinner!

I ate my Wheaties!

Happy Valentines Day!

Puppy prints in the snow :o)

The Hawkins family foot prints :o)

Where's Brew!?!
Wilderness woman!

Maggie & Bran finishing off lunch :o)

I am woman hear me ROAR!!

Smile Brandon :o)

Jess vs Wild :o)

Dad with his furry munchcans!

Mom with her baby puppies!

We hiked and explored for a good 4 hours and then headed back to camp to relax and take a little nap. The puppies were exhausted!! I don't think I have ever seen any of them that tired! They immediately found sun to dry themselves off and fell asleep! We all then moved into the tent to take a little nap, and woke up to the sound of some crazy blowing wind! After noticing that the wind was not dying down after a few hours and the temperature dropping significantly (it was pretty much freezing outside) we decided that we would go ahead and head home instead of staying another night! We decided not to stay because we were not going to able to start a fire to keep warm (due to high fire danger and the high blowing winds), and we did not just want to be trapped in the tent all evening and night freezing! We also knew that they were expecting a cold front, so we did not want to get trapped in snow in the Honda - not good! So we loaded everything up and headed back home! The puppies snored the whole way home! It was so cute to see them all snuggling in the back seat! We were all pretty stinky though so it felt good to take a shower when we got back! The puppies had to sleep in the sun room until I could give them bathes today because they were filthy!

One tired pug (look at his tongue!)

One tired & dirty weenie!

Pooped to the MAX!

Our view on the way out of the forest!

Bye! Bye!

So today has been spent unpacking and scrubbing the puppies! They were soooooo dirty! After everyones baths they all spread through the house snoozing away! I think they are still super pooped from their big adventure this weekend! Hopefully it won't be too long until our next big adventure! Have a great week everyone!
I got into an argument with a girlfriend inside of a tent. That's a bad place for an argument, because then I tried to walk out and slammed the flap. How are you supposed to express your anger in this situation? Zipper it up really quick?
~Mitch Hedberg ~

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Count Your Blessings!

From my daily devotional......

I will be the first to say that I am guilty of focusing on all the troubles and obstacles in life instead of counting all the blessings that I have around me each and every day! In all honesty I think sometimes we are so busy adding up our troubles that we forget to count our blessings! This got me to thinking about who and what I am thankful for....

1. My amazing husband who is my rock! He is my best friend and soul mate! I am so thankful that God blessed me with such an wonderful person to make my way through this crazy life with! Each day he inspires me to push myself to be all that he knows I can be! It is the best feeling to wake up every morning next to the person who makes you the happiest! His dedication and passion for life and God is contagious and that is one of the things I love most about him!

2. My wonderful puppies! Brandon and I don't have children, and really have not made the decision whether we are going to or not due to the risks. This is a something we have just had to turn completely over to God and put in his hands! So because of this I am thankful to be a mom to the best puppies in the universe! They are always thankful for the little things you do and love you unconditionally - even on the worst of days! I know alot of people make fun of me because I treat and talk about my puppies like kids, but that is exactly what they are to me - my kids!

3. My wonderful parents who I am lucky enough to have! They are parents that would go to the moon and back for me if I needed them to! I am thankful for the love and support they have given me through my life! I can only hope that through all their hard work and dedication that I am a daughter they can be proud of! I wish all children were blessed with such great parents!

4. My marvelous sister who has amazed me as she has grown up to become such an astounding young woman! Although it makes me sad that I don't get to talk to her as much as I used to because we are both so busy "living life," I know that she is forever there for me! We have the kind of bond where we can just pick up where we left off! I am thankful that God blessed her with a wonderful husband to live her life with!

5. My extended family who has taken me into their family with open arms since the day Brandon and I met! They are the best "in laws" a girl could ask for! Their unconditional love and support for Brandon and me is endless! I have loved and enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about them and grow closer to them each and everyday!

6. I have the best friends anyone could ask for! Words can not even describe how great my friends are! There isn't enough room to upload pictures of everyone who has been a great friend to me! :o)

7. Our house! Although it seems like it has been under construction for FOREVER (which I tend to complain about alot!) I am thankful to have my own home to share with my family and our wonderful "grandma and grandpa" neighbors who have the most amazing stories!

8. My profession! I absolutely LOVE being a nurse! It is definitely my calling in life! Having the opportunity to wake up each day and help and have an impact on another persons life is one of the best feelings ever! I can only hope that I have had a positive influence in the lives of each of my patients, because they have all touched my life in their own way and made me the nurse and individual I am today!

9. To be an American and live in this great country. I know at the present time our country is going through some hard times, but I believe if we would put God back into the decision making for this country his grace could do endless things!

10. An amazing God who is unfailing. Although I stumble and fall he is always there to pick me up! His grace and mercy is everlasting - I am still learning to put ALL my trust in him...which for some reason is something I battle daily! I think I have trouble "letting go and letting God."

I could go on and on now that I am sitting down and actually thinking about all that I am blessed with! I encourage each of you to sit down and write out what you are thankful for! Here is something to remember... Never start counting your troubles until you've counted at least a hundred of your blessings. By that time, you probably won't think you have troubles!
I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.
~ Psalm 77:11-12 ~