A New Perspective

Life has been…complicated. In the span of 14 days, I went from going to the doctor for a lump I found on my breast to having a port implanted in my body, and my first chemo appointment the following morning. It. Was. Rough.

With my third chemo appointment looming on the horizon, my anxiety is ramping up. I know what to expect. I pretty much know how my body will react. But still.

To deal with body aches, and to help clear my head, I’ve been trying yoga. And it has given me time to really reflect. When I do this, I always come to the same conclusion – -I am thankful. It was hard to get to this point; the road was bumpy and at times seemed impassable, but I’ve made it through the anger and most of my fears. Want to know why? Because cancer has given me a new perspective.

Prior to this, I was researching kindergartens, worrying about commute times and stressing myself out over things that just didn’t matter. I was lucky to get 20 minutes of peaceful time during my day.

I don’t let the little things bother me anymore. I can’t. Every cell in my body is focused on the positive – getting healthy, seeing Sawyer grow and growing old with the man of my dreams.

This wouldn’t be possible without my support system. My friends and family have gone so far above and beyond for me. If there is one thing I have learned, it is that I am loved by so many. THANK YOU. That seems so inadequate; I can’t find the words to describe the thankfulness in my heart.

So a visit to New Mexico will not be happening this year. It’s not going anywhere (at least that’s what I keep telling myself.) I keep dreaming about being back there. The peacefulness of that place is mesmerizing. At times I think I’m exaggerating the memory of it, then I remember the elks bugling as the sun rose, and me not being able to read more than 5 pages before falling asleep in the hammock.

But the thing I miss the most – and am absolutely unsure of how to replicate – is the smell. It is such a distinctive smell – clean, floral, with a hint of some earthy undertones. I photographed all the different plants on our property in the hopes of figuring out, but no luck. I can’t wait to get back there, even if it’s only my dreams.

Maiden Voyage Out West

A couple weeks ago, we loaded up the truck and headed out west. I was nervous, to say the least. 

Road tripping across the country with a 4 year old and a big dog, with all the supplies you need to survive out in the wild strapped down in the truck bed, to land you’ve purchased without having ever laid eyes on…  I couldn’t tell if I was feeling a sense of adventure or a bout of hysteria!

As the hours passed and the miles flew by, I couldn’t help but be awed. The natural beauty of the changing landscapes was mesmerizing, but also intimidating.  

We arrived at the worst possible time (10ish pm),  under the worst weather conditions (near freezing drizzle) to realize that the road we just traversed was too dangerous to risk driving over again. Just a side note here: the actual roads to our property aren’t nearly as bad. At the last minute, Jem decided he wanted to take a different route than the one we had planned and prepared for. Ya know, the route our realtor sent us pictures of – including pictures of street signs – so that we could more easily arrive to our property. 

Exhausted with no real options, we got blankets out and hunkered down in the truck. As I slept with my kid laying on me (for body heat), looking at the icicles forming on the inside of the truck, I was wondering how long it would take to sell the land and get our money back because THIS SUCKS.  

As the sun began to rise, so did my hopes. The land was actually quite beautiful. It was wild and untouched.  It was ours, and it was perfect.   Here’s a few of our pictures!

Click here if there isn’t any sound: https://youtu.be/DY1ufhHxwiU

Dry Run

After weeks of researching equipment, reading reviews and comparing prices, we finally have all of our major camping supplies.

We got everything set up in the backyard so there wouldn’t be any surprises once we get out west.  

“Goonies never say die!”

Setup was a breeze (for me at least…😉) and I’ve got to say – I am beyond ecstatic that we are able to start this adventure with such sturdy equipment.
Only four more sleeps until we hit the open road…

“There was nowhere to go but everywhere,
so just keep on rolling under the stars.”
― Jack Kerouac


When it’s not just business

So you may know we ended up buying our land from two different realtors, with two very different experiences. Neither experience was terrible, but there was definitely a notable difference.

Tory at Landio guided us through the purchase of our initial 8 acres.  And my goodness are we thankful for him!  As part of the purchase, his company filed the paperwork, handled all filing fees, and ensured we received the original legal documents once the filing was complete.  I hadn’t realized that this was above and beyond the norm, but once I did, I made sure to send Tory an e-mail thanking him for all of his help and guidance through our process.

Yesterday, we received this gem from Tory. It is a beautiful card, featuring a photo of our actual property, with a handwritten note from Tory on the back.  Again, just that extra effort that goes above and beyond.


In the note, he stated he was confident that this land was under great stewardship, and that really caught my attention. I never thought of our land in those terms – we are simply in charge of it – for the time being.  It “belonged” to someone long before us, and will “belong” to someone else eventually.  Our hope is to turn our little piece of land into a cornerstone of our life, the foundation of our adventure, so that we may pass it on to our son in the hopes that he will love and appreciate it as much as we do.

Realization 1

So I’ve decided to number this post since I’m 100% sure
we will have many realizations along this adventure. 


I have realized that my idea of camping is vastly different from my husband’s. We easily agreed on a tent (Stout PRO Series bell tent). Then we began discussing sleeping arrangements. He was using words like cots and sleeping bags. I already had sheets picked out for the air mattress I had ordered today… He’s in survival mode and I’m more cozy with a splash of glamping! Ummmmmm….

Making plans for our first visit

Now that we have land deeds in hand, we are ready to plan our first visit.  We will be driving 1500 miles, with a kid and dog in tow, and all of our necessities will need to fit in one vehicle.

Since a big chunk of money was used to buy the land, we need to be resourceful in acquiring all the gear we will need.

Here’s the rub: we need quality items that will last, but we don’t have a fortune to spend.

At this point, both Jem and I have agreed that quality and safety is of the utmost importance, especially since a. We will have our child with us, and b. We plan to make this trip a couple times a year, so our gear will need to hold up.

I have been scouring eBay, Facebook Marketplace and Amazon for deals on camping equipment.  I’ve been able to buy a few things second hand, and we plan on borrowing some items from family.

We are about 6 weeks away from our departure, and I’m thankful I’ve started gathering items now.  Taking a family camping, half way across the country, is a bit different than our usual camping trips.

If you have any tips or ideas on equipment, please let us know!  We’d love to have some input!

Game on!

In my sheer desperation, as I left work, I called the realtor for the 5 acres of land that had been marked sold. My idea was to just play it cool and act like I didn’t know there was a giant, red SOLD sign on MY property listing.

What happened next only reaffirms my faith that this land is meant for us.

Matt answered on the first ring. I gave him my spiel on how I saw some land on his website, and just wanted to ask a few more questions.  I then told him which parcel.

He stopped short and asked if I was joking. In a cloud of confusion, I just about confessed to knowing the land was sold, but I could only squeak out a small, “No. Why?”

His response: “The original buyer called about 10 minutes ago to cancel her purchase for this piece of land. ”

Excuse me say what?!

My heart slammed into my throat as I yelled I WANT TO BUY THIS, TAKE MY MONEY INSTEAD. So much for working a deal, eh? I didn’t care about deals. All the pieces were coming together.

This was it. Kismet. Fate. Another sign.

As of today, we are the proud owners of 13.12 acres in New Mexico!

Land 7


Devastating news

After taking a few days to go over details of the land, talking with local residents (thanks Facebook Groups!) and getting our finances in order, I began calling the realtors selling each parcel.

The 8 acre parcel was a breeze. I called, placed a small down payment on the land, then wired the money the next day.

The extra 5 acres I stumbled upon was another story. I looked up the listing one last time before calling the realtor to finalize purchase. But the land was marked as sold!

I. Was. Devastated.

In my shock, I called Jem at work and told him. I could hear the disappointment in his voice. I kept going back to the listing, hoping it was wrong, or that I misread the information. Nope. Sold.

Our adventure hit its first snag.

We’ve already purchased the 8 acres, so there’s that. Can we be happy on 8 acres? Absolutely. But that extra 5 acres was what sealed the deal for us.

Ever the optimist, I’m a glass half full type of girl. If it’s meant to be, it will. I am thankful for what we have, even if it’s not exactly what we wanted.

It’s really happening!

We have spent the last couple of days getting our ducks in a row in order to purchase the land in New Mexico.

It’s weird to think that this small piece of paper is worth so much…  And not just in monetary value.  This is much, much more, especially for us.


It’s our future. Our dream. OUR PLAN.

Fingers crossed the purchases go smoothly!!