Puddles, Mud, Laughter and Love for the Great Outdoors

An adventure, a proper adventure full of surprise and joy took place just yesterday. If the impression has ever been made that I am the leader to these adventures….that is only sometimes correct. Yes, I am most definitely the chauffeur but rarely do I get to set the pace or decide when we start and stop. I leave the fun things up to Owen. I’m mostly kidding but then again he is very spoiled, loved to pieces and does get a bit bossy from time to time. 

Yesterday afternoon was one of those times. I was sitting down intending to get some work done but Owen had his own plans for the afternoon which included taking a walk. I knew he was right and the gorgeous day outside was calling. Several minutes later we were loaded up in the car and on the way to the walking path along the creek that runs through town. 

About a mile down the convenience of a paved bike path, we found a dirt trail that leads up the side of what is referred to as “M” Hill. One of the most magical parts to living in the Black Hills is you do not have to go far to find nature’s wonders. You can even stumble upon them on a Monday afternoon walk with your dog. 

I decided that it was the perfect day to go exploring and the adventure was on. 

Owen was wagging his tail even more at this point and over the moon excited about being on a proper trail. There was snow here and there at first but good hiking conditions over all. The fun really started about half way through when the snow covered trail turned into mud. Owen was unconcerned and enjoyed standing in puddles and trekking along as if it were his ideal conditions for a walk. I couldn’t help but laugh when I had enough mud on the bottom of my athletic shoes to remind me of 90s platform shoes. 

A more adventurous soul than I, was out for a run on the same trail. He was an older gentleman that passed us, I told him he was brave to run in those conditions. He just chuckled and told us that his wife had reminded him “If he fell and hit his head, it wouldn’t make a difference”. He told us to have fun and kept on running down the muddy trail. 

We did have fun and were both very tired by the end of our 5 mile adventure. I was very grateful for a dog swing in my car to keep my seats clean. It has truly been a saving grace and is a permanent resident in the back seat of my car. Owen jumped right in with no extra prompting and was eager to stick his head out the window all the way home. 

I feel absolutely blessed to be able to get out and enjoy sunny days again. Owen is the best exploring buddy because he reminds me that there is more to life than working. Spring time is just around the corner and I am grateful that it will allow for more puddles, mud, laughter and love for the great outdoors. 

Today we are setting out for the heart of the Black Hills for a walk down the Needles Highway. This is something that can only be done during the winter due to it being closed for vehicles. Check out Instagram (Surpriseadventures) for more photos of our “M” Hill adventure and for today’s exploration as well. 

What recent adventures have you been on ? Do you have fur babies that go along with you, or in my case instigate the outing? I would love to get to know my readers more.

A Musical Adventure

Photo by Skitterphoto, source Pexels

Happy Sunday!

I woke up today to lots of beautiful white snow and sunny skies. I would love nothing more then to strap on snow snowshoes and headout for a proper adventure. The only problem is that I have a 10 hours shift at the hospital tonight.

Now the question is. Do you want to go on an adventure with me anyways?! To bad…you’re coming. 😀

We are taking a musical adventures. Currently as I am writing this I am listenting to a new favorite playlist on Spotify called “oat milk lattes in the mountains” by Kasey Gelsomino.

Like any good adventure there are familiar parts such as “The Cave” by Mumford & Sons. This song is so peaceful to me and yet invigorating at the same time. It has such a wonderfully steady beat to it that you are almost compelled to keep putting one foot in front of the next to achieve your goals.

Then just around the corner there is something new and spectacular. “All the Debts I Owe” by Caamp. I could stay lost within this music all day long. The story it tells is one so simple, relatable, but yet almost requires you to travel back in time to picture it.

Almost every adventure I take helps to calm my soul and heal a little part of me that I never knew needed healing in the first place. Today’s adventure is no exception. “Coastline” by Hollow Coves allows for the soul to sink into it. The feeling of the air getting warmer around you like a soft blanket, as the sun rises over the ocean. Absolutly peaceful and hopefull.

Music has alwasy been a tool that I have used to travel anywhere in the world I want to go, simply by closing my eyes.  Past, present or future…with the right soundtrack you can get there.

I hope you have enjoyed going on this adventure today.

Adventures do not all have to be big and grand. They do not require lots of money or any danger at all. To me adventures allow you to wounder some place unique and to step away from all the busyness of day to day life.


Photo by Ray Bilcliff from Pexels

Hey yall, it’s FRIYAY!!!

I was going to write today about this AWESOME book that I just finished. Because, yes, that is correct, one book per month is my goal and I am now 2/2. 😀 As I said I was going to….BUT I think this topic needs to be discussed over and over and LOUDER AND LOUDER until it is understood by all.


I use to not even have boundaries or if I did, they were hard for even me to find. I didn’t respect myself enough to expect others too. This was before I started my self love journey and learned so many, many things. This lead to poor choices, toxic relationships, being manipulated by “friends”, employers and even the random kiosk workers at the mall that would tell you anything to sell a product. I thought it was rude to keep walking. I had not learned yet.

Now let’s fast forward from that version of me, through the start to this beautiful self love journey I am still on, to present day.

My boundaries have been tested a few times within the last week. I didn’t know I was onto this lesson of self love but apparently the UNIVERSE decided I was ready for this.

Lesson 1:Old “Friends” can stay in the past

Old version of me would have absolutly accepted that friend request. Time to show off right, time to do some cyber stalking and see what happened with them, because getting sucked into the drama is sooooo juciy.

2021 updated version gave this a lot of thought. I sat with that friend request for days. See this person really hurt me years back. We were best of friends, but the absolute worst of friends to tell the truth. My thought process went something like this. Maybe she has changed, maybe she really wants to appologize for being so cruel, maybe she just wants to chat and catch up. Then I stopped and asked myself these questions.

  • Do you want to put your energy into a friendship that was extremly toxic for you in the past?
  • Do you even need that appology for your own peace?

I opted to not accept this friend request. I am not allowing past toxicity into my present. Boundary Set. She could be an absolutly lovely human now and I hope that is true. But going down that memory lane is permently closed.

Lesson 2: Ex’s – – – you broke up for a reason

Now I am sure that there are ex’s out there that are best of friends and good for them. But I have learned for myself going cold turkey is an ABSOLUTE must.

Trust me I am aware that I should go to a therapist to discuess a number of topics this being one of them. Put in the comments below how to pick a therapist, I’m genuinally curious.

I digress.

An ex decided to send me a message, asking how I was. This used to send my head spinning about, ‘oh my goodness what does this mean’, ‘do they finally realize how awesome I am’, ‘do they want to get back together’, ‘what should I do’….


It does not matter what it means. It does not matter what they have realized, it does not matter if they want to get back together or not. Here is what I should do…this is what I actually did.

Burn me on a cross, but I did infact respond. The email I had recieved was polite so I did my best to be polite in return but also firm with my boundaries.

I confirmed that yes I was doing good. I then explained that I do not stay in contact with past significant others because it tends to have a negative impact on my future. Then I wished them well.

Boundary Set.

Lesson 3: Shut Down Inapproriate Conversations

This was a hard lesson for me to learn. I grew up as a tomboy, hanging out with my big brother and wanted nothing more than to be “one of the guys”. So I was included from a pretty young age in “locker room talk”. Throughout high school and college and still to this day some of my best friends are guys. Not much really phases me. I’ve worked in multipule gyms, a bar, a resturant and in customer service for more years than I would like to remember.

Just because it no longer phases me does not make it okay!

The fact that it no longer phases me is defineatly not okay!

I was chatting with an aquintance that I’ve known for many years. One of those people that was around the same group as you but you have never really spent a lot of one on one time with. Well this indiviual and I were having a nice small talk conversation today. I had told him about the book that I had just finsihed. The next question was not small talk, it was not appropriate and we had already previously dicussed that this topic was not okay.

I was close to texting back something along these lines. I am not okay with you crossing my boundaries like this. I don’t appriciate this behavior. We can not remain friends if you continue to disrespect me in this way.

Then I thought about these points.

  • Has this person ever really been my friend if this is the type of behavior that is consistantly exibited?
  • By responding, am I respecting my own boundaries?
  • What energy does this individual bring into my life? Is it positive or negative.

I opted to not respond at all because I do respect myself and I do respect my own boundaries.

I had no idea that this was the self love lesson I was going to have this week. It now has me thinking about what my other boundaries are. I’m still fighting against the internal voice that tells me I can’t be rude. Then the Queen inside of me responds with “If they have the audacity, where is yours?”

Comment below with some boundaries you have set and won’t let others cross. How do you show yourself love? How do you show yourself respect? 

The Power of Thought

I have had this idea mulling around in my head for awhile. In the fitness industy they say “you are what you eat”…what if this is more than what you eat physically and also about what you eat (consume) mentally. Three people that I’ve never met have forever changed my perspective on life and intruduced me to the power of thought. Jen Sincero, Rachel Hollis and David Goggins. All authors and some who have inspired me the most.

Jen Sincero. I honestly do not know very much about her, but she wrote an amazing book entitled “You Are a Badass”. My biggest take away from that book was something she called “the big snooze”. It has been about two years since I’ve read this book but this concept is what stuck with me.

Whenever I am dwelling on something unpleasent, be it a memory that seems happy on the surface but really makes you sad, replaying a mistake I made over and over again in my head or just really feeling like I’m stuck in a funk for no reason at all.

I call it out…I ask myself if I want the “big snooze” to control the day or if I would like to be in control of my own day.

The “big snooze” looks different for everyone, but to me it’s anything that drags me mentally into a dull colored, sluggish and irritable zone. Having a name for this helps me step out of this zone. This is not who I am. It is simply a place where I get stuck occationally and I must choose to leave in order to find joy.

Rachel Hollis. I know way, WAY more about Rachel Hollis because she puts it ALL out there. This lady brought us books like “Girl Wash Your Face” and “Girl Stop Appologizing”.

I learned that keeping promises to myself was just as important as keeping promises to others. I learned that no matter how big your dream is, you should always go for it. If you don’t know something….learn. If you want to achieve your goals…plan. Saying no is not only okay, but important sometimes. Stop letting other’s opinions run the show.

I could probably go on forever about the things I’ve learned from this lady. But I promise I won’t. My biggest take away from her is that – sharing authentically is so powerful. And I strive to do that here.

David Goggins. This guy is the ultimate bad ass. I listened to the audio version of his book “Can’t Hurt Me” which also included mini interviews between chapters. I won’t be giving any spoilers for this book because it is truly amazing and one I think everyone should either read or listen to. But he taught me that no matter the circumstances, no matter the challenges, if you make the choice to give it your all and keep going, you can find your greatness.

Today I want you to pay attention to the internal dialog you are having. What types of things are you telling yourself? If you are telling yourself that your day is going to suck…you will be right. If you are telling yourself that your day will be amazing…you will be right. If you tell yourself I won’t ever be able to do that, you probably won’t ever try and will prove yourself correct.

I am going to bombard myself with positivie affirmations, possitive music, happy movies, feel good social media …all the good things for one week and then tell you how it goes.

I challenge you to do the same! Let me know what your choice of affirmations are? What is your go to happy vibe music? Who do you follow on social media that always brings a smile to your face? Put it in the comments below.

Have an amazing Tuesday!

Don’t let the “big snooze” get ya down.

The Adventures Begin

First of all I want to thank everyone who has already read my first posts on Valentine’s Day. I have aspired to start a blog for a very long time and now that it is really happening… it really is my dream coming true. So here are a few things you can expect to find.

08-08-2020 while hiking Black Elk Peak Trail #9

1. Adventures

A passion of mine is exploring and experiencing new things. My adventures primarily take place around the Black Hills in South Dakota because that is where I live now! I am still excited to be home again. I will also be sharing content from when I travel. Upcoming adventures in 2021 include piece hiking the Centennial Trail here in the Black Hills, a backpacking trip in Wyoming and I’m hoping to summit at least one of Colorado’s 14ers this summer.

2. Poetry

I started to write poetry before I even knew how to spell things correctly, something I’m still not exceptionally good at….thank god for spell check. It has been an outlet for me my whole life and I have never been brave enough to share my work publiclly. I hope that by finally sharing my work with others it can touch someone’s life like all the poetry I have read has touched mine.

3. Life Tools

There are specific habbits/tools that I have learned to use over the years that make things better and easier for me. Most of these tools I have discovered through the various jobs I have had, from friends and family and then by reading lots of books. I will never share any tool that I do not personly use. Some of these include my weekly checkups on the 8 components of wellness. Methods I use to help with my anxiety. Goal setting and how I use a vision board to keep making consistent progress. And so many more.

My desk 02/20/21

4. Book of the Month

I LOVE to read. I attribute this a lot to my parents who would read books to me as a kid, would take my siblings and I to the library often and who were wonderful examples by being avid readers themselves. A personal goal of mine is to finish at minimum one book per month. Reading is my favorite path to inspiration and I will be sharing what I find along the way. Below are a few books that I have already chosen for 2021 and more will be included so stay tooned.

  • The Story of more by Hope Jahren (current book)
  • Get Out of Your Own Way by Dave Hollis (Completed in January)
  • Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
  • The Yellow House by Sarah M Broom
  • Sisters Like Us by Susan Mallery
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
  • The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
  • Big Magic by Elizaceth Gilbert
  • How to Hide and Empire by Daniel Immerwahr

5. Loving Mother Nature

I personally believe each and every single one of us is responsible for the survival of our planet. We get to decide what we will leave behind for the next generation. I am looking for more and more ways to make my daily habits more Eco-friendly. One thing that I have already changed is I no longer use bottled shampoo and my goal is to eliminate plastic bottles from my life completely. My next project is to learn how to make my own yogurt so I can eliminate all of the single served yogurt containers from my shopping list.

Surprise Adventures will be eclectic just like I am. I hope to make you as my reader laugh, smile, ponder deeply and dream big. I look forward to writing more, with posts coming out on Sunday’s, Tuesday’s and Friday’s.

To see more photography as this journey continues please follow my Instagram by clicking on the link below.

My Own Valentine

Big red hearts and teddy bears
To all the broken hearts wondering if anyone cares
You are unique and beautiful in every way
You really don't want those types of people to stay
You are free now to be who you really are
You are free now to dance, to play, to explore, to go so very far
You are loved by the entire universe each star, every sunshine ray, every song bird and all things good
So imagine just for a moment what you could
What you could do for you
Stop waiting for anyone to make your dreams come true and just do it for you
Be your own very best Valentine
I know I am going to be mine

Written by N.A. 02/14/2021

Valentine’s Day- a tragedy until now

What do you think when people buy themselves Valentine’s Day presents? I used to think it was because that person was super lame. That it was like a flashing beacon telling everyone else around them that they were unlovable. That presents couldn’t be special unless someone else gave them to you…. right?…actually that would be a big fat NO.

Valentine’s Day needless to say has been one of my least favorite holidays since I was in elementary school and we all would make little Valentine’s Day cards but it would have to be one for each kid in the class. I always felt like I only got any because the teacher required the other kids to be nice. like ouf BIG OUF…

Fast forward a few years. I was in college, 21 years old and madly in love. I also happened to have recently undergone a surgery to remove a lump that wasn’t BAD but it was also concerning enough that the surgeon wanted to get me back under the knife ASAP to make sure all of the tissue with those markers were removed.

This is where the juicy stuff comes in. The night before I left college to go back home and have surgery (#2) This boy that I was madly in love with and had been dating for what seemed like a lifetime decided to break up with me by text message. I was beyond crushed. I flew home, had my surgery, discovered Kelly Clarkson’s song “Stronger” and made it my anthem. Got back to school and attempted to start studying again while still taking pain killers. But the moment that destroyed it all for the past decade for me was when he walked into the student center, sat down where I was studying and gave me Valentine’s Day candy and told me that he thought I deserved it.

What I have just described to you is a period in my life that I dated my first narcissist and damn he was good at his game.

That could be the end of this story. Boy I loved broke my heart, wrecked Valentine’s Day forever blah blah blah. But thankfully time actually can help heal your wounds.

This year a facebook ad popped up and it was for one of the many many monthly subscription boxes. I have never done one before because I always thought they were a waste of money. But this one was specifically marketed towards me as the target audience for sure, bravo marketing team! YOU WIN! I clicked it and signed up to give myself a Valentine’s Day gift this year. And honestly I am way more excited about this gift because of what it means to me and less about whatever arrives in that box.

Where I used to see someone sad and pathetic that couldn’t be loved by others, now I see someone who is in love with themself. I feel bad for younger me because I didn’t know how to love myself. I chased after boys to validate me and to give me self worth but it only led to tragedy, disappointment, grief and more self doubt.

So after a long ban on celebrating Valentine’s Day this year I’m getting myself a gift, I’m taking myself on a date and I’m going to remind myself of all of the reasons why I Love Me!

I hope that the love you have for yourself can grow stronger just like that Kelly Clarkson song. I hope that even if it is a small treasure, your favorite coffee or an amazing dinner that you treat yourself because you are an absolutely AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL and WORTHY human.

Happy Valentine’s Day!