2:32 am

I woke up in a fog of darkness, confused by my surroundings. I heard distant chants ringing from downstairs…and then I remembered: the election. In a slow and terrified panic, I reached for my phone. I hit refresh on my google page entitled ‘trump vs. clinton’ and there it was. The glare of my screen seemed to magnify…our next president. Immediately I wondered, “how?” Then my mind stood blank. I shuffled down the hall to where my little one was curled up warm and content under a dissarray of blankets. I put my hand over her body and promised that she was important, no matter what, she was important. And I will continue to stand and fight for her importance. To stand for the importance of all men & women, regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or political opinion. I refuse to let a single person control the outcome of my daughter’s life. She IS important. And she IS and WILL BE kind. Kind to all she meets. I have many fears tonight (this morning?), but I will not allow them to alter the good in her. 

I prayed on my way home from casting my vote. I prayed for a hand on the future president, for God to guide them and to help them find the good. And now I pray again for the same thing. Except now I pray that those filled with hate in their hearts, choose to love their brothers and sisters. We are all people of this earth, and despite any outward or inward appearances, we are all of this earth. We are separated by differences, that we should be celebrating instead of fearing. 

We need to be one. We need to rise. 


I didn’t think…

I didn’t think it’d be like this…

I didn’t think I’d watch myself play mama as a secondary character in a novel. I didn’t think I’d watch him sleep, with just a slight bit of drool falling from the corner of his mouth. I didn’t think dog hair would constantly be on my skin. I didn’t think pens would clutter my nightstand. I didn’t think a planner would become my lifeline. I didn’t think I’d travel so many roads, some more than once. I just didn’t think this would become my life.

I am a daydreamer by nature. So to say I never wondered about my future…well that would be a big lie. I wondered A LOT about my guy, my kids, the dogs we’d have, the laughs we’d laugh…the life we’d have. It’s all tied so nicely when you’re just wondering. When you can’t see the small pieces of your future, like the pens on the nightstands or the new preference to only soft lighting. I like it, but it’s strange to just allow yourself to recognize that it’s not what you thought it’d be. I think it’ll be even stranger as my children grow to wonder about their own futures. Because I think I’ll smile and nod at their thoughts/dreams for their futures and just hope for the good and the happy. 

I trust the universe. Maybe I shouldn’t, but I do. I trust that what is meant to happen, will happen. This has always been my mantra. It started when I used to take tests back in high school or college. I’d just think, “What’s done is done. So no sense worrying. If it’s bad, it’s bad and you’ll go from there.” This carried into my early adulthood years. Whenever I’d get stressed or worried about what would happen, I’d just remember that the universe was working. 

I realize now, that although that’s all true and dandy, I still have to try. TRY. That’s a big word in my life right now. I’ve found that I fear the unknown much like the rest of the world. However, I’ve allowed that fear to eliminate the try. I want my degree to mean something. So I’m ‘trying’ to figure some things out. I think I’m ready for that plunge into the very dark unknown. Because for me: it’s hella dark. Like the deepest shade of dark imaginable is my dark when I think about adding ‘student’ to my list of titles again. I want it – just have to take the really deep breathe that they say to take and jump. I think it’s seems darker because it’s not just me. It’s him, it’s the wild one, it’s the furry one…they come with me. So I jump, they jump. It’s all so very Titanic. 

I just didn’t think this would be my life. It’s a good life, just oh so different from what my brain drew up on that fresh college-ruled paper when I was a kid. I didn’t think sometimes I’d still feel confused. Isn’t that funny? That as a kid, I thought my confusion over things would  cease to exist as an adult. It’s a funny thing to remember thinking like a kid. It’s almost cute. But I wouldn’t want to tell little me the truth: that I live in a confusing mind still and am strangely cool and chill with it. I like that she just figured I’d become so cool that I wouldn’t be confused anymore. Even if I could go back – I would just love to hear her dream. Her dreams about the guy, the kids, the dogs we’d have, and the laughs we’d laugh. If anything, I think she’d teach me more good than anything I could tell her. 

I didn’t think this would be me. But I like the details I missed. 

A game. 

Let’s play a game. Okay, I’ll play. You just read. 

The Game? The first five songs that come up on my iPod while I type this and their meanings in my life. Because it’s 10:30 at night on a Wednesday and why the heck not? 

Song One: “Proud Mary” by THE Tina Turner. The very first thing that comes to mind when I hear this song: John Krasinki on Lip Sync Battle. If you have not seen that episode, I encourage you to find it on the youtubes. It’s guaranteed to produce a few giggles, heck even a chuckle or two. The very second thing to come to mind: I used to babysit this epic brother and sister combo my junior year of college and they had one of those Wii Dance Revolution games. This was one of the songs, and my goodness, I RULED this dance number. I may or may not have made them learn the moves with me. (Hint, hint: I made them. I’m an awesome babysitter, I know.)

Song Two: “Let it Go” by the insanely talented Idina Menzel. The very first thing: um my daughter, duh. She’s obsessed. This used to be the only, and I mean ONLY song that would calm her down. And she was really only about Idina’s version. This song is currently sitting pretty in my top 25 played due to the sheer amount of times I quickly jumped to this song to quiet my screaming toddler. Thank you, Idina, you were my savior. 

Song Three: “Run Run Run” by Celeste Buckingham. The first thought: walking in the dark to my apartment gym at 5 a.m. This was almost always my first pick to wake my butt up and get me somewhat pumped for an early morning work out. In the months leading up to my wedding, I found the only time I could get myself to workout consistently was in the wee hours before the sun came up. So I set my five thousand alarms for 4:14 a.m, 4:17 a.m, 4:21 a.m, etc…to get me up and ready to exercise. And this song always seemed to force my eyelids awake ever so well. 

Song Four: “Learn Me Right” by Birdy and Mumford & Sons. The thoughts: I freaking love ‘Brave.’ That is a phenomenally film. It’s a good one. Also any movie that plays Mumford & Sons in almost any capacity is a win in my book. And this version fits into my soul just right. Second thought: I have an image of a dark road, the light slowly starting to creep over the Earth and anything can happen. This song was played many, many times at the beginning of many, many adventures that we partook on in Utah. Oh those mountains. 

Song Five: “My Silver Lining” by First Aid Kit. Thoughts: I have no idea where I came across this song, but my heart and this song are one in the same. A line that is repeated many times in this little number: “I won’t take the easy road” has become my own personal mantra. I always seem to do things the harder way, but despite all the tears and confusion – it always seems to work for me. And I’m okay with that. Every year, I feel a slight tug on how little I know about myself and the world. All this truly does, is make me love the difficulty that much more. Hard works for me. I hate the process, but love the journey in between those ‘ugh’ moments. 

Besides those moments always lead to the ‘AHAs’ that are simply superb. 



Yesterday was a bad day. Or was it a good day? I guess it just depends on how you look at it…so here are the facts:

1. My alarm hasn’t been working so I wake up when my husband wakes up, for fear of being late to work. This puts me awake about an hour and a half before I need to wake up. 

2. Trying to get my daughter into to the car to go to school is always a challenge. Yesterday was no exception.

3. On the way to work I take a few backroads, mainly because I live in the woods and the backroads are my main roads. I am personally not a fan of these roads, everyone always seems to drive too fast and too close to the line dividing the two opposing lanes of traffic. So whenever anyone hugs that line I tend to stay closer to the right line. Yesterday I did just that and my tire ended up going into the slight ditch that parallels the entire road. As I tried to get my car back onto the road, I lost control and ended up in the wrong lane. When I finally got the control back, I pulled over and discovered my tire was completely flat. 

4. I called roadside assistance and waited 45 minutes for someone to come out and help us.

5. I ended up being an hour late to work. 

6. I called the place where we just purchased our tires less than two months ago and turns out we declined the added insurance. So we had to pay to replace the already brand new tire with money that didn’t exist.

Those are the facts. Here’s the truth: we all have bad days. In fact some people may look at these events as a good day. And you know what, they’re right. It took me a second to realize that yesterday was actually a really good day. Did I have reasons to say it was a bad day? Yes. But it wasn’t. And here are some other facts for you:

1. I am rarely ever late for work now since I wake up with plenty of time to get ready. Sometimes, time still gets away from me, but I feel less stressed in the morning because of that extra 1.5 hours.

2. It is a challenge to get my daughter out the door for school, but one day I won’t get that time with her. One day she’ll take herself to school. And as ‘nice’ as that seems, I’m going to miss the days where she needed my help in the morning. 

3. My daughter and I are alive. We ended up in the other lane and by the grace of God, the universe, whatever you believe: we did not get hit. And that’s amazing. In fact while I had lost control of the car, my daughter was laughing and having the time of her life. Could not have asked for a better reaction. Because she felt safe. Despite the fact that I was freaking out. She knew we were good. 

4. I got an extra 45 minutes with my daughter. I never get ‘extra’ time with her. So we jammed and laughed in the car while we waited for roadside assistance. And we had a blast.

5. I had a shortly break to make up for some of the time lost. And today turns out I’m going to be able to make up that time as well. So really? Nothing lost. 

6. Okay, I won’t lie…this one still sucks. But it’s okay, life happens. Stuff happens that throws us back sometimes. And that’s just the way it is. No sense in crying. It’ll be taken care of and that’s that. 

So this probably seems like such a long way to say: find the good. But there it is. Find. The. Good. It’s not always easy. But anyone can be happy when everything goes right, be the person who can find the silver lining or happy spin. It’s not always the easiest adventure, but you’ll find the days seem better. And that’s because we have the power to change our attitude about our days. 

That’s it. Have a happy day. 

Giving Thanks.

This year I am grateful for a fresh start. Actually, multiple fresh starts. In the span of one calendar year, our little family has packed up and moved TWICE across the country. We have had the opportunity to see how gorgeous this land really is and truly explore it. We have traveled major highways and back roads, through mountains, deserts, swamps and forests. We have met people from all walks of life and learned so much more about the human experience and the differences that unite us all. Prior to this adventurous year, my view of our country was incredibly limited. My view is constantly evolving still (and I hope always will) and now I have this overwhelming desire to know and learn as much about our fellow earthlings as possible. At the heart of it all, we are beings of this earth; it is not necessary to be grouped, just to live alongside with and grow from each other.

So, a fresh start…our moving started as a desire to better our family and our future, both financially and emotionally. And as we sit in a hotel room on Thanksgiving, I know this is just the cusp of what this move did for us. I watch as my daughter hugs our dog and they exchange wet and sloppy kisses. My husband relaxes on the bed smiling and laughing at the two of them; snow is falling from the sky outside, and I write. We are at peace, despite the 1,678 miles that still separate us from our new home. There is an aroma of chaos and uncertainty that lingers around us, but on this bed, we are happy and together. And that is like a warm blanket around us.

Happy Thanksgiving from ours to yours. Whatever your family is made of, I hope yours is filled with giggles and love. Isn’t that what makes life kind of fantastic – that despite the bad and terrible, that we can find warmth in our loved ones?

The truth is…

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obviously I am deep because I am looking right into the soul of a mountain. duh.

I am not good at a lot of things…okay most things. Willpower? Yeah, maybe one day. First Aid? If it’s beyond the help of a bandaid, I shouldn’t be allowed near any humans, plus lots of blood is a little too much for me. Politics? Yeah, I don’t get it. Just let people be people (although…is that politics?). Or aliens. They can be aliens too. I’m cool with that.

I’ve always just tried to be honest. That’s my one saving grace. I suck at lying, so being truthful was/is always my answer. Ask any friend of mine and I can almost guarantee they can tell you of a time or two when my advice was: Just tell them the truth.

In relationships, I’ve always been quick to say how I felt. My past was NEVER a mystery. Why make it that way? The future is already about as predictable as the candidates running for office (seriously, who thought one day Trump would take a whack at running?). So I always figured it was better to just lay it all out on the table and kind of let things fall into place. I felt that if someone couldn’t be okay with me, past and present me, then they didn’t deserve a future with me. I am who I am. I am not going to be anyone else, so why bother pretending to be someone else? I am strange, loud (annoyingly so), love dogs, find comfort when my playlist matches perfectly with my mood, and like to poke people in the cheek while they sleep (yeah, that’s a little weird). I sleepwalk and get embarrassed when I realize I’m doing something weird in the midst of my drowsy adventure (woke up once with a spatula in my hand…yeah, I don’t get it either). But I am happy with who I am. And I really, REALLY think we all should be.

We’re all a little weird. And we should be super proud for our own personal weirdness. It’s pretty awesome to be quirky. It’s one of my favorite things about people. Watching my daughter grow weirder and weirder every day is super awesome. She’s the most bizarre person ever, although with us as her parents, I’m not entirely surprised. I look forward to watching her make friends…I think about that a lot. Friendships are SO important. They say a lot about the kind of person you are. The kind of people you choose to keep in your life says so much about you. I hope she learns to accept the weird in people. To be friends with people of all walks of life. I hope she has a friend that’s weirder than her and a friend who is SUPER normal in every way. I hope she gets really involved in a club/sport/art/whatever that makes her feel alive and helps her grow and find her passions. I hope she’s happy. That’s the main goal: happiness.

Sorry, I do this…I deter from what I was going to write about, and go off on a really strange tangent about my daughter’s future. It happens.

Anyway, the truth is…I mess up a lot. I swear when I shouldn’t. I get agitated easily. And I am SO stubborn.

But I think we all have those things, the things that make us human and relatable. No one likes to hang out with someone who is practically perfect in every way, because unless you are THE Mary Poppins, go away. Perfection is lame. And more importantly it’s unattainable. You will never be perfect. At anything. Ever. You may be awesome at something and get a scholarship for being awesome to go to an awesome college, but guess what: that doesn’t make you perfect. You could have beautifully shaped eyes with a slim figure and never have to diet – doesn’t make you prefect. You may get your dream job right out of college and NEVER struggle with money, but that doesn’t make you perfect. Perfection is something on the highest shelf of life that sits gathering dust, yet from the ground it looks shiny somehow. We are not perfect and that in itself is AWESOME. I’d rather be imperfect and okay with my lack of perfection, than ever try to be perfect. I’m okay with failure and struggles. I’m okay with me. I don’t need to be perfect. To attempt to be so, is just a sad life.

Now for anyone who is still reading at this point, what I am trying to get at here, is that imperfect is awesome. Please don’t waste your time and energy on perfection. And if you don’t believe me – watch Black Swan. If that ain’t someone losing their s*** trying to be perfect, I don’t know what is.

This leads me to my next point (btw, you are a trooper for still reading my midnight ramblings), why do we care so much if someone is different from us, or God forbid has a different point of view than ours?? Please, tell me how this matters. People are people. Stop judging from the step-stool of life you think you are on, and just get that. For goodness sake, it’s ridiculous that people are still being told that they are less of a person for ANYTHING. Not one single person on this planet has a right to cast any stones onto another. We’ve all messed up. We’ve all stumbled. We are people. Not you, not me, not them, US. Again I say, People are people. Unless they are aliens, then they are simply aliens.

Some quick facts for you (here is my honesty showing again): I am white with some Cuban blood thrown into the mix (although the last time someone thought I was Hispanic was pretty much never). I got pregnant after four months of dating my (now) husband; our daughter was born approximately one year and one day after we started dating officially. I am okay with that. My daughter will never EVER hear or see me be ashamed of that tidbit. It is, what it is. She will however hear me to tell her to wait until she’s ready. Not when they are, but when SHE is. I’m not about to jump on the back of pick-up truck and preach unplanned pregnancies, because the truth is, my husband and I got REALLY lucky. Really lucky? But how you ask…because I loved him and I knew he was my person. And having life turn unexpectedly for us only proved this to me further. The day our daughter was born, I learned just how big love can be, and I am sure when we decide to have more children I will learn this all over again.

Now another quick sub-note: just because it works for you, does NOT mean it works for someone else. We are all different, all people, but different. We have different opinions and ideals and standards. So if someone chooses to think differently than you, does not mean you have the right to object to them as a person. Although, as I write that I realize I am being semi-contradictory, so let me back up here. We are all entitled to our opinions. That is your right. But, that does not mean that you have been given the flag of power and now can judge and stone people to death because they think differently than you. My example: I wanted kids. I always wanted kids. I always knew the title of mom would happen in my life. Whether biologically or not, I would be a mother. It was the one thing I was always sure of. BUT that does not mean that every single woman on the face of this planet wanted the exact same thing as me. There are plenty of women who also inhibit this lovely little planet who have no desire to pro-create. And that is one hundred and ten percent okay. That gets another ten percent because I am writing this at midnight and I am stressing a point. BOOM. Kids are a LOT to handle. I have one and sometimes I feel like I suck at it. I have one, that’s it. I know a woman who has five and I feel like she could parent successfully with her eyes closed and make dinner at the same time. She’s clearly a superhuman (…or alien). Anywho, I am getting off track, the choice to have children should not be taken lightly. It is a very hard job to be a parent, so if someone decides that they would rather pass, who cares? That’s awesome that they have come to that conclusion for themselves. It should be respected, that’s fine if you don’t understand, but you shouldn’t judge what you do not know. I feel like I should change this piece to: DO NOT JUDGE. Just don’t. It does no good.

Anyway, to all woman who have made the decision not to have little humans: I am happy you are happy. I am happy that you know what is in your heart. And that parenting is not what you are about. You are wonderful beings and the end. No need to discuss this further (if I had a mic, it’d drop).

So back to my little tidbits: I am terrified by change, but crave it. I am just a walking contradiction, I would have been perfect for that Starburst commercial…

I have mini-panic attacks whenever a big change is coming. You should have seen me when I went into labor, I was so ready to deliver, because hello forty-weeks?? Are you kidding me? But I kept telling myself I wasn’t really in labor, took me about four or so hours to finally convince myself it was time.

This move to nearly the other side of the country was necessary for us, but one of the single most terrifying experiences of my life. My husband and I both cried the whole way out of Florida, which was perfectly fitting because it was storming the day we moved. It was such a nutty experience to say goodbye to familiar and comfort and just jump into a new life. HOWEVER, one of the best decisions we have ever made. We’ve only been together for three years and in those three years it has been the most chaotic years of my life. So many ups and downs and SURPRISE at every turn. For us, it totally worked. We learned really quickly how to work together to find solutions and luckily we agree on 90% of everything so that made the decision processes a lot easier. We’ve grown so much together that the idea of marriage never scared me. It just seemed like the next awesome new step in our adventure of life. For my single friends, I will say this about my tiny-bit of experience with marriage, it’s awesome to have a partner. He’s my go-to for everything and it’s so, SO wonderful to know I can rely on him. I love that. That’s my favorite so far about marriage. So far no complaints, however we’ve only been married for eight months, and I’ve heard and read rumors about the seven-year itch, so apparently just give us time. I’m partially kidding, but I also like to not live in a bubble of silliness in which I think things will never change. Because they will. Life will get hard some days, months, or even years. And sometimes we won’t click on something or get the others point of view. I see this happing especially when we hit the teenage years of our daughter’s life. We’ve mildly discussed teenage Annie, and although we both fear/shudder at the thought of the saucy-ness of teenagers, I know we will disagree on certain aspects of discipling and dating and all that fun stuff. Among other life obstacles that I am sure will arise. So I guess on that topic, stay tuned.

Also, for my single friends: ENJOY IT. Being single does not last forever, unless you want it to, which is also perfectly fine. But, being single is typically not forever. You must enjoy it, because the second you find your person, whomever they may be, you can’t go back. Unless you hire a lawyer and do a TON of paperwork (divorce ain’t cheap or easy…at least from what I’ve heard). So do not waste your single-hood moping from one day to another. Be you. Get to know you. Seriously. I loved being single, yes, there were some nights when I was binge watching Friends or How I Met Your Mother and I yearned for my future Chandler or Marshall. But I loved it. I got to be silly and make mistakes. I got to learn about life and about who I am. And I got to dream about who my person might be (little did I know I had already met him). It’s fun and super exciting. So, please, PLEASE do yourself a favor, do not waste this chapter of your life. Embrace it. Love it. And more importantly LIVE IT.

This concludes the midnight ramblings of yours truly. For those of you who stuck through this, congratulations, you read the inner thoughts of my brain. And for those of you who skimmed this…aliens. haha, you probably think all my ramblings are about aliens. Yep, sure was. Good night folks.

Antelope Island.

This past weekend we crossed off another hike from our list. When we first moved here I came across a little blog detailing {in their most humble opinion} the VERY best hikes for Utahns. And as a newbie Utahn – I was most eager to complete every last one of them. So on Sunday, Father’s Day, we set out to cross off the Frary Peak hike located in Antelope Island.

So, let me first start off by saying, Antelope Island – you’re pretty, and I promise that I am not trying to be rude, but I just moved here from Florida. And if I wanted to see a body of water…I’d go back to Florida. Now, Utah before you start throwing stones at me, I adore you. Like seriously, with every fiber of my being. You’ve felt more like a home than Florida had in a long time {and I was there for nearly twelve years}. It’s just, when it comes to beloved bodies of water – Florida has you beat, and I’m sure there are other states that may even have beach and sunshine-filled Florida beat…so please do not take this comment with anger.

ANYWHO…when we made our way onto the causeway connecting the rest of good ole Utah to the island, I was immediately surprised by how non-Utah it all seemed. And as if God himself heard me, bugs immediately started pelting themselves at our windshield. It was a bit ‘end-of-the-world’ style as we came to the sign welcoming us to the island. We were meeting my parents there, so I insisted we jump out of the car really fast to get a few pictures…a poor decision on my part. Those bugs moved from our car to us with vengeance, as if our car was a direct insult to their way of life. Tyler cursed up a storm as he stood patiently by the waters end, hand-in-hand with our little one.  imageDo not let the photo fool you, bugs were surrounding us, demanding we leave their home immediately. We ran back to the car, frantically trying to get Annie buckled up as quickly as possible to avoid the bugs from choosing the inside of our car as a new travel destination. One or two did make their way in, but I think they realized quickly that we were not the ‘welcoming’ kind.

My parents did not wish to join us on our endeavor to climb to Frary Peak, so we did a parent-friendly hike to start: Buffalo Point. A travel guide I found online promised this to be the best quick way to get a good view of the Salt Lake. The hike was a tad rocky in some areas, but definitely nothing too challenging. imageWe worked our way up the ‘mountain’ till we came to a beautiful clearing. Honestly, this hike was well worth it. And honestly if it wasn’t for the bugs {yes, they followed us from the main entrance} and intense heat {it got up to 96 degrees fahrenheit that day}, we may have fully enjoyed it. But alas the odds were not in our favor. But hey, the view? Incredible. imageimage

This was where we departed from my parents and Annie. My parents were exhausted from Buffalo Point, and Annie seemed to be fading fast, so we decided to let her spend the rest of the afternoon with her grandparents. From there we headed straight to Frary Peak on the other side of the island. On the way there, we did pass some roaming Bison – so that was super cool. Apparently, there are over 500 Bison on the island, but we only saw three, so that was a tad disappointing. We parked and loaded up our back-pack with the snacks and water we had come prepared to need for this hike. We had eight water bottles, four for each of us. And let me tell you, as prepared as we thought we were, we were most certainly NOT.

Total, the hike is suppose to be 6.2 miles roundtrip. And the first .7 miles was exhausting and a clear sign that this hike was about to kick our ass. I honestly do not know if we thought that the hike would just magically level off on the way up, but we were not prepared for the climb to the top at all. Here is the thing about hiking uphill: it sucks, especially when there is no shade and the sun is just beating down onto you. All the while the largest bees I have ever seen, buzz constantly in your ear, which for someone like myself that has a ridiculous fear of the little yellow and black-striped jerks {pretty much since Culkin died a tragic bee death in My Girl}, this was a scene out of my own personal hell. Still, we trekked forward growing increasingly more exhausted and hopeful of reaching the end with every passing step. Remember how I said we were not prepared? Well, not only were we completely unaware of the steep trail ahead of us, but we SINCERELY were mistaken on the appropriate amount of water to bring on this journey. So just as we ascended to mile-marker three, Tyler informed me that we were sadly out of water.  imageimageWe knew we were getting close, so I figured we got this. We can make it. I recall Tyler screaming at the mountain, “You can’t defeat the Polstons!” I remember laughing…at least I think I laughed. Everything became super hazy at this point. And then there it was in all it’s glory. And by glory, I mean “I-climbed-uphill-three-miles-for-this??” But then, because this mountain wanted to throw it’s own bit of anger our way {because we could NOT possibly have reached the top}, we discovered we had only reached the false summit. Yeah, this thing had a ‘false’ summit. Like I said, a personal hell. We looked ahead and say the ‘true’ summit and I could feel my body begin to cry. We saw the treacherous last .2 miles, which seemed to be at a 90 degree angle, and looked at each other. Quietly, we agreed that we were close enough. We made it. End of story. We did the freaking Frary Peak. We’re done. imageWe sat down to take it all in, not the view, but that we still had to go back down. My mouth felt like a desert full of cactus. I felt myself remembering an episode of Spongebob Squarepants when he tries to convince himself that he doesn’t need water, I channeled him in that moment. I stood up and immediately felt the weight of our upcoming nightmare. I kept talking about how much quicker and easier it would be to go down, and I was sort-of correct. But what I had failed to account for was the sheer amount of pain that can come from your toes hitting the front of your hiking boots over-and-over again. At one point I was convinced my nail had departed from my toe. Since we were going down such steep paths, it was ‘easier’ to run down, then to carefully avoid the rocks. Which looking back was probably not one of our more intelligent thoughts that day. We passed by many people heading up the very path we were running away from, and we must have looked like we had been lost on the side of the mountain for days, because every single one of them moved quickly out of our path. I retracted the urge to tell them “turn back while you can” and moved with purpose down the mountain. A little over an hour later, we reached our beloved vehicle. I cried with happiness as I collapsed into the scorching hot seat. We found two half-filled water bottles and chugged the very warm water as quickly as we would. Never in my life have I been so eager to drink hot water. But it was glorious and desperately needed. As we drove away, we made a vow never to return.