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Hazy Skies

Sometimes in life, you have to throw all cares to the wind and run. Run to new adventures, away from mounds of lists and deadlines, to a place where you can hear yourself think again-and that's just what I did.

About a month ago I started following this new group on Facebook called Perk's Points and Miles. A local guy I know made this group highlighting random trips at affordable prices. I joined more to support him in his new group but quickly got drawn into the idea of an escape. Days off are few when you own a business and most days I only get a day off when deathly ill and what's the fun in that? Immediately I the Grand Teton Trip caught my eye and it was then I made my mind up-we were going. Fast forward to a couple short flights and one long layover and I walked off the plane and immediately into that amazing mountain air. They warned of the smog we may experience from the wildfires but little did they know we came from the industry side of the country and this was fresh clean air to us. Now the downside to this trip, it was so short. But I was desperate and it was oh so glorious.

We landed Tuesday, finally getting on the road to Teton Village about 5pm and I didn't want to waste a second. We drove through the thickest woods towards the highest mountains and it was then with the windows down and the sun starting to lower that I began to feel myself smile again. The mountains made me, referenced to the New Frontier Outfitters shirt that I wear way too much, this saying is so true. There's something so mystical about finding that place in the world that just feels like home. Where you begin to feel your broken pieces merge together again and that hole in your heart starts to fill. Self care was so far from by mind when I began my business but now it's on my radar and I encourage you to put it on yours as well. Whatever it is you need to feel whole-seek it out. Find that special place, that certain song, that activity that helps you heal-and do it as often as you can. We were not made to worry, we've been warned against it hundreds of time and yet time and time again life happens and we quickly sink with no hope of a worry free space. We glorify busy and worry and stress, and it is officially time to STOP. I challenge you, do more of what makes you happy, log the things that make you feel alive and soon you'll find what makes you tick.

We had 45 hours to "vacation." And when you fly and travel with a toddler there's not much resting involved, plus we had to do this important thing called sleep. Honestly when I made the decision to run away from my to do lists and make some memories with my family, it terrified me. I have grown to be a work horse and taking "time off" is impossible for me. The last time we took a trip as a family was when Iris Sage was 6 months old, and Sage Boutique came along 3 weeks after that. BUT, there's always a but, sometimes you have to listen to that inner voice and go.

We spent most of our first evening driving around, settling into Teton Village, and checking out local places like the Mangy Moose that served Avocado Toast and made for one extremely happy 2 year old. That first night we saw over 150 Elk and I got to see my husband glow with excitement as he got a taste of the elk vibes with his upcoming Elk hunt in Montana. And did I mention the sunset, well as imagined it was breathtaking and that night I slept like a baby for the first time in years.

5am wakeup call and we are on the road again. Today calls for a long day of driving; Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. We climbed mountains, went through fields of wheat and saw so many animals. We reached our first destination where Nick will be elk hunting and scouted out some places to camp and hunt. Let me just say, Montana is a glorious place. When I think of western farms I think of the T shaped arches welcoming you up a long driveway and well, they're everywhere. It was great to give Nick a first hand look at where he would be staying, plus is gave me some peace of mind knowing where he'd be because service is sketchy and I'm a natural worry-wart. Instead of driving back the way we came, we decided to dip through the western edge of Yellowstone National Park. When we were driving, I thought we were actually getting to see a lot, but man was I wrong. Upon further investigation and a map view later we have a ton more to see! Our drive took us around the little tri-state of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana and the sights were amazing. Each area so different and unique but all so welcoming. It was really hard seeing the recently burned trees from wildfires, my heart hurts just thinking of them but I learned that nature is designed to recover and it really got me thinking. If nature herself can be put through hell and see it as a chance to recover and grow-then so can I.

Nature is a glorious being. There is so much we can learn from the trees, mountains, flowers and the animals. We are designed to persevere and that we must. It's easy to want to give up in life. You make mistakes, screw up, fall on hard time and feel like your whole world is going to crash, but at the end of the day, life goes on. It's kind of clique to say that because I know when you're in that moment your whole being is questioned, but friend I'm here to tell you, it's all going to be ok. Life is a journey, and much like our drive back to Jackson scenes change and so must we.

We spent our evening in the Tetons and Jackson exploring parks, ice cream shops and eating asian food. We were able to visit the Mormon Barn, making friends with bison and prairie dogs along the way. Our evening drive was filled with perfect weather and gorgeous views. Sage brush and wild flowers littered the fields and the smell was to die for. If you've smelled mountain air, you'll know what I mean. {Side note: A few days after getting home Nick gave me a hug and asked what shampoo I had used, when I asked him why he said it was because I smelled like Wyoming and it might have been the best compliment he's ever given me.}

Jackson is a charming little town, filled with small shops with beautiful store fronts. Antler arches were the cornerstones of the town square, massive in size and the design was so impressive. A storm came right as we got into town so we didn't get to do much exploring but it did lead to a beautiful drive back to the Teton Village and just as we returned it stopped raining so we were able to take Iris to the playground we had promised her all day. I can see where Jackson Hole could be a very romantic retreat but it is perfect for families, something I had kind of worried about. That night we stayed up way too late eating gas station snacks and planning the next half day adventure.

We woke up early again the next day and decided to pack up our adorable hotel room and check out so we would have more adventure time. We had goals to hit up the tram to Caspers Waffles on top of the World and much to our dismay we ended up on the wrong tram and paid $28 for two terrible cinnamon roles you could play the drums on......but, the views were worth it. Not going to lie, I'm terrified of heights so the tram ride itself wasn't all that exciting for me but we did get to see a moose, badger and mule deer so that made up for it. Plus that view, just wow. Next time we come I told nick I would definitely want to do the mountain top yoga, how incredible would that be? Iris, my fearless child, did amazing as usual and we got to see more mountain flowers which made me incredibly happy. Since we had a flight leaving soon we weren't able to take the shuttle on Jenny lake but we made a mental note to add that to next years trip. That last hour I found myself on the verge of tears knowing it would be a while before I could return. It wasn't until Iris actually cried and said she didn't want to leave the mountains that I actually shed tears. While driving away from my mountains we saw some antelope and I encouraged Nick to go photograph them, I was happy to have a moment to myself with the mountains. As iris quietly hummed in the backseat to her songs, I rolled the windows down and breathed. I took in every last drop of mountain air I could, I embraced her beauty and soaked up the warmth of the sun. I thanked her for her guidance, her love, her peace and thanked God for the blessings he's given us to enjoy. His mountains are mine and I am forever at peace with that thought. Although I was leaving her, I took a piece of home with me. Until my return I pray the mountains give others the peace and hope and love they so desperately search for. The amazing thing about life is, we all go through struggles, nature herself even does, but at the end of the day we must learn to journey on-and so we shall.

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