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We’ve Moved!

November 22, 2015

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(sorry for the terrible quality above, but it’s what we’re working with, so…)

Life Update:

We’ve moved.

We did it, we really did it. We packed/threw away/stored all of our stuff and caravanned northward to Pleasanton, California. This past month and then some has been an absolute whirlwind of change, a breathtaking experience of dependence on Yelp, Google Maps, Target, and above all else, the good Lord, and it has been good, so very good.

After completing our last days at work and before our actual move, Allan and I began our family and friends reunion tour.

First, we travelled to Southern California and spent some quality time with my family and Mickey Mouse (hello, Disneyland). As our time came to an end in Lake Elsinore, we had to travel back up north to participate in the Velo wedding festivities in Fresno, but nature had another plan and failed to run it by us (mewithoutyou reference, anyone?!). Mother nature decided to close nearly every main route to Fresno with terrifying mudslides, but the Wheeler’s weren’t having any of that. So, instead, we took the most sketchiest/prettiest route home in spite of Mother Nature and in spite of iPhone flash flood warnings. Yikes! We took the one open route and barely made it to the Velo rehearsal dinner! I felt like some sort of magician.

At the crack of dawn the next day, Allan, Zach, and I boarded a plane bound for Idaho! We spent a week with the Harrington duo, kissing on/dancing with Baby Judah, and exploring Zach and Lacy’s new home in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. It is beautiful and we’re so happy to have a resort town to visit whenever we want ; ) Right Zach and Lacy!?

THEN, we actually and finally moved. On October 29, 2015 we arrived in Pleasanton at the Worrell household dazed and completely travel-logged.

(Side note: Jannelle and Clay have been incredibly patient, gracious, and giving during this entire transition!)

The past three? four? five? weeks have been an absolute blur.  Instances of this include immediately finding myself in the city in attendance at a Hanson reunion concert (what?!) and sampling their new launch of brew, fittingly deemed MmHops (serious), Allan and I both getting jobs within days of moving here (God provides so hard!), big changes at our new home, and returning to the city for yet another Renegade Craft Fair. I have a feeling a solid amount of exploring the city will be in our future.

So there you have it, our life has changed, we are here, and we are excited for what God has in store! 

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Year 2 / Cotton

July 28, 2015

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Disclaimer: This trip was awesome! Massive amounts of photos were taken and a lot of words are going to be said. Read along at your own will ; )

BUT, if the wordage bums you out just click on the links throughout the post and enjoy the photos. My feelings won’t get hurt.

Tradition has it that cotton is given for the second wedding anniversary. It is said that cotton is fresh. It symbolizes the necessity for a marriage to remain strong, yet the ability to adapt with life’s curves, the ability to remain malleable. Although Allan and my marriage is still new, it has gotten stronger and infinitely better with each year. Therefore cotton gifts were exchanged between Allan and myself. I gave him a new Frasier shirt and my gift is still in the mail, to be determined.

…and to celebrate our two years of marriage, and make up for last year (reference here), we planned a quick getaway to Palm Springs which DID NOT disappoint. We started our trek down south last Thursday stopping in Valencia to visit with one of my dearest friends over sushi. From there we made a bee-line to the Wigwam Motel, a nostalgic Route 66 stop in Rialto.

Thursday 7-23-15

We settled into our wigwam, turned on the TV, and watched the finale of Wayward Pines. Now as uneventful as this may seem, I promise you, we were pretty stoked about it. We have really enjoyed M. Night Shyamalan’s mini series! You should give it a chance it if you haven’t already! As Allan puts it, “it’s like a mix between the Truman Show and X-Files”.

Friday 7-24-15

Anyhow, the next morning we got ready and headed for Redlands, but not before an impromptu trip down memory lane. Immediately following high school Allan moved down south with friends and lived in this area for a short period of time. He showed me his old stomping grounds: his workplace at an auto dealership, apartment building, and the spot he was pulled over and consequently received a ticket from Officer Battle (he also handed the police officer his dealership business card like a smart aleck in case the police officer “needed anything”). I love these kind of nostalgic stories because I feel like it gives me a glimpse into how a person has been shaped, more specifically how Allan was shaped. In a way I get to participate in Allan’s past, one where I wasn’t physically present. I could do this all day and be content.

Now being from Riverside, I think I’ve taken most things “Riverside-esque” for granted. I know it’s normal to be jaded by your daily surroundings, but since moving away I have learned to appreciate under-the-radar cities. In my case, Redlands was amongst these disregarded cities, but it should be explored and appreciated more!

I was introduced to Augie’s Coffee in Redlands a few years back (thank you Julia), but I wasn’t quite aware of the burgeoning local scene in Redlands. One of my favorite bloggers, Calivintage, is based in Redlands and through her various city-guide posts my desire to explore this town has grown. After Augie’s we walked around the corner, literally, and stopped at Parliament Chocolate. We grabbed a delicious baked donut complete with scrumptious dark chocolate cream! It was so yummy. Afterwards we drove around exploring the cute surrounding neighborhoods and admiring the vintage architecture.

En route to our ultimate destination, Palm Springs, we were obligated, as many Palm Springs bound travellers are, to stop at the Cabazon dinosaurs. We stopped, instant film photos were taken, and we were back on the road to SALVATION MOUNTAIN. Quick and easy.

If you know me, you know I have wanted to see Salvation Mountain for quite some time. I was so bummed when the person responsible for this massive piece of folk art, Leonard Knight, passed away a few years back.  So on our way to this remote destination I was pretty giddy. This area (Niland/Slab City/Salton Sea) absolutely blew my mind. I have never been to a place like this before. Salvation Mountain is approximately 2 hours outside of Palm Springs and in the middle of nowhere, no hyperbole whatsoever. IN. THE. MIDDLE. OF. NOWHERE. I’m sort of surprised Betsy, my 12 year old car with over 200,000 miles, didn’t break down on the way.

Salvation Mountain is so intricately fabricated and revered, that it seems to exude an eerie and somewhat foreboding air. Beneath brightly lacquered hills alcoves of makeshift shrines are hidden. These various mausoleums, seemingly dedicated to general ideas of love and hope, house abundant amounts of photos, prayer candles, and articles of clothing left behind from travelers teeming with wanderlust. In the far off distance, we were also able to view Slab City, a community with a really interesting history full of desert dwellers, campers, and squatters. We got back in our car and began driving towards Palm Springs, but not before one more stop at the Salton Sea. It was smelly, salt crusted, had no shortage of dead fish lining the outer rim of the sea, AND AWESOME.

After a long, but great day, we made it to our hotel at the Korakia Pensione. This hotel is probably one of the best hotels I’ve ever stayed in. Really. It is a beautiful Moroccan style estate once owned by a film star. To give you an idea of the romantic and relaxing vibes of this hotel, the staff puts out Moroccan mint tea every evening, lights the candles within the Moroccan lamps, lights the three fires surrounding the pool, and the fire pit outside our room, and hosts nightly film gatherings on the wall outside. Dreamy, right? That night we walked downtown, which is extremely close,  grabbed a delightful shake from Great Shakes (complete with a mini-donut on the straw), and took a night swim!

Saturday 7-25-15

We woke up early, grabbed the best complimentary breakfast I have ever had, and got a massage. No big deal, right? I felt so bourgeois! Afterwards we just laid around HARD! Allan got his Ethics of Money Production book out, and me, The Virgin Suicides, and lounged in and around the pool for a few solid hours. That night we enjoyed a fancy pants four-course meal courtesy of Tinto, a restaurant tucked away in the Saguaro hotel. Tinto’s boasts of Chef Garces and his Basque tapas bar and restaurant which serves small plates typical of northeastern Spain’s pintxo bars. The restaurant even congratulated us on our anniversary by giving us champagne. By far, the best, most classy dinner I’ve had.

Sunday 7-26-15

We left bright and early, ate our hotel’s complimentary breakfast once more, and headed to the Ace Hotel to take photos in their photo booth. From here on out we leisurely made our way back up to Bakersfield. With a stop back at Augie’s in Redlands (have I mentioned how much I love coffee?), quick meet up at Whole Foods with Amanda, and spontaneous Stumptown Coffee Roasters (I love coffee, have you heard?) and Howlin’ Ray’s Hot Chicken food truck stop we made our way home.

Since coming back from Nashville and being introduced to Nashville Hot Chicken (thanks Mike and Gretchen) Allan and I have not stopped dreaming about anything else. So you could image our excitement when Twitter told us that this food truck would be in an accessible LA spot at the exact time we were driving through. It was so, so, so good!

Alllllll this to say our anniversary was equal parts quirky, kitsch, adventurous, relaxing, spontaneous, and I loved everything about it.

Below are a handful of photos from the weekend! Enjoy!

She Reads Truth

September 2, 2014

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Honestly, finding the time to sit down and read the Bible,  to spend time in prayer with the Lord, is a hard thing for me to do. Thankfully this summer, with its lack of classes, lectures, novels, and papers to write, has been somewhat easier to carve out Bible-reading time.

Yet, with the first day of Fall quarter just around the riverbend (Pocahontas anyone?), finding the time to read will be scarce once more. This also means Zombie Kathleen is sure to reemerge (Eat, sleep, school, work, repeat…).

Once school begins, I am forced to squeeze things into my monotonous routine of school/work. Having a plan of attack, if you will, helps me to stay on track.

I was recently introduced (thank you Marissa Vorhees) to She Reads Truth. It is a community of women “who manage [a website]”, “write [devotional] plans”, and “are committed to reading God’s Word along with you”. Essentially it is like a women’s bible study with women worldwide. 

In addition to the scripture read-a-longs they also produce very cutesy illustrations, prints, and iPhone backgrounds which coincide with whichever book of the Bible they are going through. This time around it is Hosea, a very good book, but also a very sobering account of  a man and his adulterous wife. The parallels between our relationship with the Lord to Gomer and Hosea are eye-opening.

So read along, if you so choose; I have been enjoying it so far…

Santa Cruz Anniversary :: One Year

August 4, 2014

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Already one year, can you believe it? Three years together and one year married, crazy. I remember when I was little I would get so anxious to be older: to be in high school, to drive, to be in college, I always wanted time to speed up. Lately, I want it to stop altogether, or at least slow down.

July 27 Allan and I celebrated our one year anniversary in Santa Cruz and it was nice (at least until we had to leave early, but even then we made the most of it). We began our trip early Friday morning with our homemade breakfast burritos in tow and made the journey up North. I was super excited, not only to arrive at our destination obviously, but to also pass through King City and Salinas. I was jazzed because I am currently reading Steinbeck’s East of Eden and these cities are significant to the narrative and author.  The story takes place in these towns and John Steinbeck grew up in Salinas (we even got to stop at his childhood home).

Fast forward to our arrival in Santa Cruz. I have been researching this town for quite some time now (thank you Design Sponge City Guides). Because of this particular guide, we were ready to eat at delicious restaurants, enjoy coffee shops, and browse the local record/book stores. After arriving in Santa Cruz, we ate at Betty’s Burgers, walked around downtown, visited the boardwalk and Verve Coffee. Now, I usually plan most of our trips around coffee shops (I am sure this is a known fact about me by now) and Verve has been waiting to get checked off my list for awhile.

I realllllly like this coffee shop. It has quality coffee, friendly employees, and an all around good vibe. Needless to say we stopped in on this store a few times. We also stayed in a cozy studio which we found and booked off of AirBnB.com, a website where you can rent unique places from locals. We loved where we stayed; it was cute, comfy, clean, annnnd even had a community garden! So lovely!

But sadly Saturday morning I woke up feeling no bueno, so we had to come home and cut our anniversary trip short. I was completely bummed, but in reality it makes for a more memorable trip. Plus, we have many, many more anniversaries to plan and celebrate! Fortunately, we made the most of it as previously mentioned and took the scenic route home via the 1. Such a beautiful drive! Looks like we will just have to make it up soon, possibly with a quick one day getaway? Solvang, Palm Springs, or the Wigwam hotel perhaps? Regardless of my sickie mishap, (WARNING: mushy, gushy words ahead) I am extremely grateful/happy to be called Mrs. Wheeler. To be married to a man like Allan is a treat in and of itself. Love you babe, looking forward to many more years together ; )

Click on the links for more details!

 

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A few photos…

July 29, 2014

…from our weekend in the Southern California region. From the spa day, to our trip to San Diego’s Little Italy, the weekend was well spent. I’m extremely grateful for this summer and how it has gone thus far. Minus a crazy/exciting, up and coming week full of shows, and one very special wedding (Ben and Bethany), our major summer trips have come to an end. It’s been good, real good. I love the adventures Allan and I have undertaken and the time spent with people we truly adore. I look forward to the adventures yet to come.

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The Graduate

July 29, 2014

I completely forgot to post these photos of Allan’s graduation back in June. I had taken some on my camera, downloaded them onto the computer, and forgot all about the pictures. There aren’t many, but the ones I do have I love! I love them because you can see the support and excitement they have for Allan and his big day! Our family and friends are pretty awesome. So no big blog post with words, just reminiscing about a good day with such good people! Enjoy the photos!

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Little Free Library :: Take a Book, Return a Book

July 14, 2014

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I want my own Little Free Library.

What is a Little Free Library?

Little Free Library is  “a “take a book, return a book” gathering place where neighbors share their favorite literature and stories. In its most basic form, a Little Free Library is a box full of books where anyone may stop by and pick up a book (or two) and bring back another book to share. You can, too!”

Recently, upon moving into our new place downtown, we stumbled upon a little library across the street. A blue box in the form of a tartis (from the television series Dr. Who) caught our attention, so naturally we walked across the street to give it a look. On the box, in addition to two rows of books, it gave a searchable charter number and website. We went back to our place and immediately began our research on the library. Turns out, you can locate each library in any given city using this number! I had heard about these beauties awhile back, but had forgotten about it till a couple of months ago when Allan and I drove past a large, red English telephone booth full of books. It has a cute bench placed next to it, one which welcomes visitors to take a book and read it at the bench or take a book, and leave one in its place.

There are currently 20+ in Bakersfield, all of which are easy to locate via an online map through the organization’s website. Not only do I hope to visit each of them, but I also hope to add a Wheeler edition to the map some day! It’s a great way to promote a culture of reading and sense of community in one’s own city. Check out these links to gain more information and see how these libraries have made their way into my own community!

Little Free Library

Local News Story about Little Free Library