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Cayo Coasta Beach Camping Adventure



David and I packed some coolers and a tent. We parked the truck at a marina on Pine Island and took the Tropic Star Ferry over to Cayo Costa State Park.

Upon arrival, a manatee was in the water near the dock. I felt like he came by to welcome us to our adventure. The first night we heard rustling of an animal. Either a raccoon or rat managed to get into a food wrapper we obviously did not secure. We also heard an owl, saw a snake, watched the birds feed at dusk.

When the sun went down, it became cold fast! It was colder than I anticipated. Our air mattress deflated in the night. (which made us even colder). But then the sun came up and warmed us up. By mid day, it was hot and probably 70+ degrees. Thankfully, it never rained. There is no hot water for showers. BUT there are flush toilets.

We spent three days being connected to beauty, nature, simplicity and each other. I thoroughly enjoyed being remote and having miles of beaches to ourselves. We frolicked like teenagers during the day and the hobbled like grandparents at night ūüėČ LOL

What an adventure. Hiking trails and miles of beaches kept us busy. We calculated that in 3 days we walked over 25 miles. I have my little stash of shells. I found a sand dollar with lace-like edges.¬† It’s amazing.

If you’re ok with remote simplicity, this barrier island might need to make it onto your must-see list. There’s also an option to boat over for the day to enjoy shelling if you’re not into rustic camping.



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What if You Lived in an RV?

Have you ever thought about living on wheels? I’m surprised at the amount of people who tell me they want to do what we’re doing—live in an RV. I would say over 50% ¬†of the people I talk to say “I’ve always wanted to do that”. The other 50% are shaking their heads saying “I could NEVER do that”. ¬†LOL

My husband and I just celebrated two years of living in an RV. I thought I’d give a little update on the pros and cons. (I might add that we are not retired).

I’ll give the CONS first:

  1. Finding a place to park your RV is NOT simple. If you park somewhere for months at a time you must be tuned into a few KEY elements—sewer, electricity, water source, internet options. There are RV parks out there, but they are pricey.
  2. It’s not always “cheaper” to live in an RV. Not having a full time permanent residence does not always mean it’s more economical. Whether you are parked or traveling, costs add up.
  3. ¬†Upkeep is still a consideration. Parts break. Hot water heaters have issues. Engines need attention. RV roofs can leak. You get the idea. You are still maintaining a “residence” of sorts, just a smaller, different kind.
  4. Weather. It’s a big deal. Let’s just say you are MORE vulnerable to whatever weather you are in while living in an RV. If its cold outside, well, you will be dealing with cold. If it’s hot, you better hope that AC is a rockstar!
  5. Laundromats. No explanation necessary.
  6. Not a lot of space for overnight guests. ¬†Our kids have stayed with us from time to time. It’s doable, but not ideal longterm.

Now onto the fun stuff- PROS:

  1. Retirement is not mandatory for RV living. If your job is flexible on “where” you work, then RV living gives travel/adventure options alongside your vocation. It’s a way to see and experience new places.
  2. The ability to spend time with people you care about. Being in an RV gives you more options.
  3. Simplicity. Less is more. Truly. I thought I would miss “things”. I don’t. (I do miss my big bathtub, just sayin’), but there is a lot of satisfaction in a more simplistic daily routine.
  4. Quick clean-ups. If things get crazy and messy, it only takes a few minutes to get the RV back on track and sparkling.
  5. “Adventure” can be more than a slogan on facebook and instagram. It can be my way of life.

RV living isn’t for everyone. Or it may be an option for a season of life. It has been a good experience for us. The flexibilities have been worth the inconveniences.

Do you have an “adventure ideal”? My ideal is to own land in several of my favorite places and spend the year in the RV in these various spots. I plan for each RV spot to have a “porch” (with a swing). I do believe the best of two worlds can collide.

Happy RVing #beautynearme

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Am I Too Old for This? The Middle Age Conundrum


Have you ever asked yourself the question, “Am I too old for this?” ¬†I asked this question today. I bought some hair extensions Yep. I did. Despite working really hard to allow my hair a chance to grow long, it won’t cross this line. I think my hair is in defiance just like my ovaries. “Nope, nothing else to give ya darlin”, I imagine this said in a very strong brogue. ¬†Well then, I’m stubborn and, by golly, there’s a way around this! Hence, the purchase.

I chose Pro Extensions (clip-in). Pretty interesting concept. Easy to “put in”.

IMG_5943 (1)

Stay tuned. I will do a separate review about the extensions in the next few days.

So, I am rounding the corner toward 50 and in the throws of menopause. Maybe I’m in a crisis? Maybe. But I’d like to think I am someone who thinks about age in terms of experience, like “the older you are the more opportunities you’ve explored” kind of person.

If you question, “whether or not you are too old” for something, well, that’s a normal conundrum, but then again, I hope your next thought is “so what?”? The more important question is, “does it make you happy, lift your spirits, encourage?”

Go for it. Sky dive. Start a company. Adventure. Take the trip. Dare. Do something new (maybe a new ‘do’). You’re not too old. (says the woman with long platinum extensions in her head). (wink, wink)


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The Secret Garden


We explore and adventure to find less and less untouched places. Undiscovered land, ocean and sky appears almost extinct. In one moment everything seems in reverse when a “spot of earth” seems to “find” us. The wonder of it catches our breath. We find ourselves surprised that we are surprised by the secret garden.

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love- volatile and safe, adventure and surrender, noun and verb, concrete and abstract, sharp and kind


I can’t remember a time that I didn’t believe there was a world more real than the one we see. But today I feel it more surely, like knowing the waxing and waning schedule of the moon, never doubting how it will brighten the night sky. We wait expectantly. I believe LOVE¬†is much the same. Even in our darkest, doubtful, dreadful moments we give a silent nod of respect to this foundation called LOVE. We can’t ignore it. We crave it. We want to understand but also to be understood. We’re wired with tenacity and curiosity, belief and hope that we can go deeper still as the divine voice faintly sings something familiar and we forge ahead to get¬†closer to the LOVE source.

LOVE is that subtle but sure foundation that causes us to believe and pursue the best in us. We seek while also wanting to be found. Love keeps us curious and busy roaming back roads forgotten. It keeps us searching for poetry, writing new (and old) lyrics, looking with longing eyes to the places all around and within that we know can and should be redeemed. It compels us to give weight to whispers, nudges and inklings not fully understood but heard in our soul. It brings a song in the night. LOVE truly is beautifully breathtaking.

LOVE, and the pursuit of living love fully, pushes us past our perceived boundaries, surprising even our own selves in a moment’s notice. It’s volatile and safe, adventure and surrender, noun and verb, concrete and abstract, sharp and kind.

It is the answer to most of our questions.


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My Dear Daddy




The blessings of a wonderful daddy are so¬†numerous and¬†they keep unfolding like presents throughout my life. Near Father’s Day as I recount the gift of my dad, I always think of those who have had a father but not a daddy. I think of those mourning that their dad’s time on earth seemed too short. I am confident¬†that in all of the grief points, I hear these people whispering “count your blessings, Sonya”. And I do.

I am grateful for my dad who is invested in family. As I’ve become older I realize even more the dedication it takes to prioritize for those we love. I can turn around and see the busy places of my childhood are always punctuated by a dad who gave of himself…still gives of himself. As a child, our family vacations were going to see aunts, uncles and cousins. He was intentional about giving me the beautiful gift of connection. I understand it now only in hindsight. He’s so wise.

I am grateful for my dad who carries my burdens as his own. He always lets me know he’s there for me to lean on. He’s a praying man and I can count on the fact that my name will be lifted to the heavens each day. He recently fasted and prayed for me in my health battles. I have no words for the explosion in my heart. Gratitude rises at the mention of my dad.

I am grateful for my dad who cares. Yes, he’s a strong and mighty one, but he is also tender. I’m sure his male brain got quite the workout raising three girls. ūüėČ I remember during a teenage heartbreak, dad came in my room and let me sob on his shoulder. And after a while he had me look at him and he¬†said “Well, does it help that I still love you?”. ¬†I laughed through my tears. He has that gift of wittiness. And the answer to that question is “Yes”. “Yes daddy, it IS and always has been a help to know you love me”.

I can’t wait for our next fishing, gardening, eating, laughing adventure together. Because you better believe being with MY dad means we are IN¬†an adventure.

As I celebrate my dad, I have such longing for the world -that this day bring thoughts of gratitude to the surface. And for those who mourn, I long for them as well, that the source of Joy fill each one with much hope.

Happy Father’s Day


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You Don’t Belong?

You don’t fit in? Are you disappointed that you find yourself in the midst of something…somewhere, and instantly know you don’t belong? You DO know that this is progress, right? 

It’s like finding an old pair of shoes in the cedar chest. (Do people still use those?) They used to be your favorite. They were so perfect. The fit was “just right” and they were so stylish! But, they don’t fit anymore. Or maybe they don’t fit YOU in your current lifestyle. You’ve changed. That’s ok. You can still appreciate them for what they WERE. Admiration and thankfulness are always in vogue but it doesn’t mean you wear the beautiful heels on the mountain hike. 

We are designed for growth and change, spontaneity and …wardrobe changes. Knowing where we don’t belong (or what doesn’t fit) is really the first step in our new adventure. Maybe it’s time to shop for hiking boots. 

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Trees line up to greet you…


The symbolism in nature often takes my breath away. I saw this picture on my friend’s FB wall and immediately thought¬†about how we journey to roads of adventure. But there is a road that leads home. When we journey back, we find…

The trees line up to greet you. They stand tall but bend and drape their branches up and over to shield and protect. Like friends and family, they welcome the wanderer home.

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The Forrest Finn Treasure


I’m about 5 years late to this party, but I have finally arrived. What party? you might ask. Well, I heard about this man named Forrest¬†Finn. Even his name sounds like a fictitious character in a novel, but guess what? He’s a real live person. ¬†I’ve read and seen interviews and plan to read his books. This interesting man, artifacts dealer, explorer, decided to invite others to “The Thrill of the Chase”. That’s the name of his book where he explains how he hid a small treasure chest north of Santa Fe somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. It’s filled with gold coins, gems, artifacts…I am so intrigued. I mean I’m the person who does somersaults when¬†finding a beautiful rock, a shark’s tooth, a piece of driftwood, so you can only imagine my brain is in overdrive, devouring information, trying to decipher the 9 clues that this gentleman left in a poem.

In the midst of my churning brain, I am also intrigued with the concept of risk and adventure. What role does this play in our life? Is it healthy? Can we be adventure seekers while being content? I think the answer is “yes” and I don’t think I’m trying to justify my “obsession”. Honestly. I’m not. I’ve been on a personal journey, a quest if you will, where I am pursuing this: the art of being content while contending. hmmm, let me say it another way. It’s like in my best moments I’m holding hands with two friends, “thankfulness” on one hand, and “dreaming” on the other.¬†And BOTH are so vital to living a full, rich life. (no pun intended)

Seeking denotes a few things about us. 1. that we don’t know everything. 2. that we are teachable. I think we innately want to ask questions. We want the quest, SOME quest, some story, some victorious moment that required resolute determination. This is only possible if there is something ¬† just. ¬†out. ¬†of. ¬†reach. It involves just a handful of clues…and an open mind. In essence, this quest is a microcosm of life. Wouldn’t you agree? And along the journey, we may realize the greatest gift of the journey is the adventure along the way; the sights and sounds of that which intrigues, warms, speaks to us at¬†the core of our being. The journey may be just as valuable¬†as the treasure we seek.

Even if I never found THAT treasure, I’d rather have a life full of adventure. ¬†Wouldn’t you?

forrest finn poem

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Summer Adventure 2015 update

I never could have imagined the extreme highs and lows of this trip, such magic mixed with chaos. When we put our things into storage, there were family and destinations on the calendar, but the true experiences are so much more than black sharpee ink on the blank days of summer.

We’ve has so many highs and lows in our first two months.

Reconnecting with Friends. ¬†It’s been surreal to spend so much time with friends from all stages of our lives. Meeting up for coffee or dinner. Seeing the sights. It’s a rare thing to bring friendships from the past and usher them into the present. It feels like a chance of a lifetime, to know someone as they are, not just as they were.

Family. I’ve seen relatives that I have not seen since childhood. I saw aunts and uncles ¬†that I’ve missed. I ¬†sipped coffee (mixed frothy with coconut oil) and watched the birds, read scripture, listened to podcasts with mom and dad and David. ¬†These precious times make you feel like the day is destined for greatness. Blueberry picking, fishing, spending the day with my sister, being with nephews and nieces…the special-ness stacks up and humbles me.

Beach walking. Pensacola, Destin, Edisto Island. ¬†While I left my footprints in these places, it is probably more accurate to say they left their mark in me. One particular day, Brooke and I went to the beach together. She came down for a week’s visit. As we got on our floats and rode the waves, I couldn’t help but look over and feel my tears mix with the ocean. She is strong and brave.¬†This summer trip was not on her list of “things to do at 16”. ¬†I am proud that she has carved out space for what she wanted. But I sure do miss her.

Our Business. Wow, how long have David and I desired¬†to work together again!? ¬†I’ve relished watching him connect, coach and learn new skills.¬†We reached a business milestone together last week and could not be more proud¬†to be part of such a great team! I’m asking the hard questions, desiring to go deeper and dream bigger!

One morning in Edisto, David and I got up at 4:30am to ride bikes on the beach looking for sea turtles.  We found the tracks, but just missed seeing her go back into the water. We stayed and drank coffee and watched the sunrise.  We saw a guy there with a time lapse video camera. We chatted a moment then went for a walk.  We got back to our bikes and he left us a note in the sand that he was a photographer. He said he had captured a cool picture of us and to email him at __.

All along the way, we have been reminded of the beauty around us, within us and behind us. ¬†Sometimes revisiting history, highlights the grace, don’t you think? Funny how things re-shape and morph as time goes by.

I made a trip to MO to be with Bethany and help take care of Moses. She miscarried again and had complications. Ir’s another low. ¬†But I can’t help but think how life is so punctuated with many highs. It doesn’t take away the pain, but allows us strength to bear it.

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when conditions are favorable










This was month #1 of our summer adventure (house sell, storage; summer of work and family). We have gone from CO to MO, TN, AL, GA, FL. ¬†I’ve enjoyed seeing so many friends and family members. And there are more I’d like to see! For me, the importance of people in my life has never been more easily understood or realized.

If you know me at all, you know 2 things. 1. I am a pursuer of health and wellness. 2. I love taking time to recognize and soak in the beauty of life. Both of these pursuits require intentionality. Anything worthy seems to require time and effort, right? It doesn’t just “happen”. I¬†know I am in the right pursuits when my¬†body, mind and spirit seem to converge?¬†Like¬†seeing, smelling and touching.

On that note, last evening we were walking on the beach with my brother-in-law Paul and we came upon a sand dollar, whole and unbroken. ¬†We stopped to search (of course) and we kept finding them. (I got a little carried away and got completely overtaken, rummaging in the surf, white dress and all. I learned that shells are more valuable to me than the comfort of dry clothes). Anyway, with every attempt to pick another from the surf, a lesson was seeping deeper into my being. And this is it: Where you find one, you will most likely find more. I know. I know. So profound, right? ūüėČ Who are the kinds of people you are drawn to? Where you find one….people that respect others and themselves? Knowing that it is not a choice that requires you to choose one over the other? Who pursues health and life and freedom and love and …

So, the conditions that make it likely to find ONE sand dollar, will also be the condition that I will most likely find MORE. I think meteorologist say it like this: “Conditions are favorable”. And wow, we all want more¬†freedom, love, health, strength and life, right?! I’m all in. Happy hunting!