We started off July with quite a bit of traveling. Unfortunately, we didn't find much time to blog, so here is a quick recap!
We used our long 4th of July weekend to check out two of the "closest" national parks to us - Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico and Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas. The two parks are actually only about a 30-minute drive from each other, so it was a good idea to pair them together. Unfortunately, that 30-minute drive was about a 400-minute drive from where we live. So we started early and made it to Carlsbad Caverns a little after lunch. It is (spoiler alert) really dark in the cavern, so it made taking pictures a little bit more challenging. However, it was still very neat to walk through. We were both surprised how BIG the "rooms" were and had fun imagining what it must've been like for the people that discovered it. It was the most "touristy" national park that we've been to, so that experience was a little different, but nonetheless a fun stop. Here are a few of the pictures that we did manage to get, thanks to some of the lights they have in the cavern!
After CCNP, we made our way to set up camp at Guadalupe Mountains National Park. We were extremely lucky to snag the last remaining campsite (there were only 15 or so). The park is almost exclusively for hiking - there isn't really a large valley or lake area like most other parks - which was great, because we came to hike! After making our dinner and setting up camp, we were treated to an amazing display of stars and moonlight. The next morning, we started our hike up Guadalupe Peak - the highest peak in the state! We hit the trail early - before the sun came up - to get as much of the sun-exposed section of the hike out of the way before it got too hot. It didn't really matter though! I think we under-estimated how hot, windy, and tiring the hike would be.. but we persevered and had some amazing views along the way! 8.5-hours later though, we were happy to see flat ground and were on a mission to move our bodies as little as possible for the rest of the weekend. Here are a few shots of the night sky and our hike up Guadalupe Peak:
5 Things We Liked This Month:
1) Hearing "No" - Before we explain this one, we need to admit that this would probably also lead the list of "5 Things We Didn't Like This Month." We both have had a few things recently that we really wanted or felt like we deserved, that didn't go our way. We won't pretend like it wasn't a bummer or that it still doesn't sting a little bit. But over the past few weeks, we have been working on having a better perspective. We have both had more than our fair share of things go away and have had tons of support in our lives. Hearing "NO" has been good for us as we've gotten reminders in the lessons of patience, humility, and most importantly - letting God plan our lives, not us. He has that one under control.
2) Family Time - The second weekend of July, we took a trip to Guthrie, Oklahoma for Ryan's side's family reunion. We had such a nice time seeing (and meeting) everyone, shooting fireworks, playing games, and sharing stories from our wedding & honeymoon. On Brit's side, we had another wedding in the family and an always tasty BBQ lunch. It is truly special to have family that makes time for one another, even if it is just once a year for some people. We look forward to many more family gatherings.
3) MasterChef - BG is a long-time viewer, but RG is a recent convert to the show MasterChef on Fox. Its entertaining, its ridiculous, it will make you hungry, and you should watch it so we have somebody to talk about it with! #TeamDerrick
4) TEAM USA! - We had an absolute blast watching every single USA Women's World Cup game. This team was amazing and it was so fun to see it all come together in the final. We were just bummed that it didn't last longer!
5) Cow Appreciation Day - In exchange for free meals, we dressed up like cows and went to Chick-fil-A to celebrate Cow Appreciation Day. It seemed like a pretty good deal to us! We saw a couple of friends there who were also dressed up and enjoyed seeing other people's last-minute attempts to look like a cow for free food!