31 Days {Day 31} : Lessons Learned

We set out on the adventure of blogging about intentional adventures for the past 31 days.  It was a month full of all kinds of interesting opportunities for us . . . and while I would probably do lots of it differently, I would do it again, because there was joy in the process and there was learning in the process.

Here are our top five lessons from adventuring intentionally . . .

This was one of the first lessons that we learned as we felt so awkward and self-conscious at one of our first adventures on a church hayride, but it was a theme.  There were a number of other times when we stepped out and did things that we would not have normally done, like heading into a haunted maze or keeping our little guy up past his bed time.  Bypass excuses and adventure any way.

I thought the hardest part of our challenge would be to find adventures for thirty one days.  It was not hard at all, the opportunities seemed to be all around us.  In fact there were a number of adventures that we did not blog about.  One of my favorite adventures that found me was getting to see the Stanley Cup with one of my students.  It was just an experience I never would have pursued.  We also were up for checking out the open house at our local Fire Station and going to the State Fair.  Things that I have not paid any attention to at all in the past.

Andrew and I have been working on budgeting this year.  A goal we have had for years.  We took Dave Ramsey’s online course, and have been adapting it for us.  We do budget monthly for adventure (we call it Dining and Entertaining).  It has been nice to know that there is money there just for enjoying one another and our world.  We found some particularly good deals on Groupon and sites like it that we enjoyed in November, usually meaning we paid less than half admission to things like Sturbridge Village and Go-Karting.  We also made the annual investment in Seasonal Theater Tickets that gets us out and experiencing.

Many of our adventures did not cost money at all, but instead were about being intentional with the time we had.  Cole and I loved our Giving Adventure, a tradition I would love to develop more. We have one lunch hour a week together and we used it by playing at Jordan’s Furniture, Going to an Outdoor Art Show, and exploring REI, fun as a family.  We do enjoy making the ordinary an adventure.

Life goes by quickly, and it does seem to increase exponentially as I get older.  We have found that the best way to slow down that race is to be intentional and mindful.  There are three seasons since Cole came to us that we have found ourselves really feeling as if we have lived fully in the season: the first was July 2010, when we each decided to take a picture a day, the second was this summer when we had theme weeks, and the third time has been the month of October and blogging about our intentional adventures. May we continue to grow in our intentionality, mindfulness, and adventuring.

—————————————————————————————————–

Updating as we go . . .

31-days-of-intentional-adventuresDay 1: About Intention
Day 2About Adventure
Day 3: Challenge – Community Event (Hayride)
Day 4: Challenge – Use Groupon (Daytrip)
Day 5: Challenge – Find Event on the Internet (Art Show +)
Day 6: Challenge – Head to the Local Fair
Day 7: Flashback Friday – AndrewLiza
Day 8: Challenge – Celebrate with Family
Day 9: Challenge – Celebrate Your Own Birthday
Day 10: Challenge – Adventure During Lunch
Day 11: Challenge – Accept an Invitation
Day 12: Challenge – Hot Air Balloon Part 1Part 2Part 3
Day 13: Challenge – Go to the Theater
Day 14:Flashback Friday – Andrew, Liza
Day 16: Challenge – A Giving Adventure
Day 17: Challenge – Highway Sign (Shaker Village)
Day 18:Challenge – Lunchtime Adventure (Outdoor Art)
Day 19: Challenge – Fire Safety Adventure
Day 20: Challenge – Lunchtime Adventure (REI)
Day 21: Challenge – Flashback Friday – AndrewLiza
Day 22: Challenge – Other People’s Homes
Day 23: Challenge – Adventures in Baking 
Day 24: Challenge – Adventure Outside
Day 25: Challenge – Embrace Speed 
Day 26: Challenge – A Haunted Maze 
Day 27: Challenge – A Night at the Museum
Day 28: Challenge – Flashback Friday AndrewLiza 
Day 29: Challenge – March in a Parade
Day 30: Challenge – Retreat
Day 31: Challenge – Intentional Adventures Lessons Learned

31 Days {Day 30} : The Importance of Retreat

Adventure is a theme here.  We believe in adventuring out.  We believe it helps you learn about the world, about yourself . . .

We also embrace retreat.

Adventure and Retreat.  That brings a balance, a rhythm to living well.

It has felt more important than ever to make room for retreat in a month filled with 31 adventures.  So though we have not taken pictures of it, or blogged about it, we have been intentional about some retreating . . .

There really isn’t any sleeping in with a two year old, but there is snuggling in, where we stay in bed a little longer in the morning.

We have been having intentional family time in the mornings before we head off in different directions we try and read together, play together, or dance together

We have enjoyed drinking a good cup of tea and talking . . .

We found time for naps . . .

We have had nights in by the fire and read books together in the car.  We have played backgammon and watched Top Chef.  We have adventured out . . . but we have also intentionally found time to retreat.  And that has made all the difference.

—————————————————————————————————–

Updating as we go . . .

31-days-of-intentional-adventuresDay 1: About Intention
Day 2About Adventure
Day 3: Challenge – Community Event (Hayride)
Day 4: Challenge – Use Groupon (Daytrip)
Day 5: Challenge – Find Event on the Internet (Art Show +)
Day 6: Challenge – Head to the Local Fair
Day 7: Flashback Friday – AndrewLiza
Day 8: Challenge – Celebrate with Family
Day 9: Challenge – Celebrate Your Own Birthday
Day 10: Challenge – Adventure During Lunch
Day 11: Challenge – Accept an Invitation
Day 12: Challenge – Hot Air Balloon Part 1Part 2Part 3
Day 13: Challenge – Go to the Theater
Day 14:Flashback Friday – Andrew, Liza
Day 16: Challenge – A Giving Adventure
Day 17: Challenge – Highway Sign (Shaker Village)
Day 18:Challenge – Lunchtime Adventure (Outdoor Art)
Day 19: Challenge – Fire Safety Adventure
Day 20: Challenge – Lunchtime Adventure (REI)
Day 21: Challenge – Flashback Friday – AndrewLiza
Day 22: Challenge – Other People’s Homes
Day 23: Challenge – Adventures in Baking 
Day 24: Challenge – Adventure Outside
Day 25: Challenge – Embrace Speed 
Day 26: Challenge – A Haunted Maze 
Day 27: Challenge – A Night at the Museum
Day 28: Challenge – Flashback Friday Andrew, Liza 
Day 29: Challenge – March in a Parade
 

 

 

 

31 Days {Day 29} : Marching Parade

Throughout the month of October, we have been intentional about Adventuring.  It is important to step out and experience and enjoy.  Once we step out we rarely know where the adventure will take us, and that is part of the joy.  May you enjoy the surprise.

We did not know what the “Pumpkin Fest” in our town would entail, or how much of it we would get to experience, but we decided we would take the cousins in the Costume Parade.

As we lined up they were photographed by a local website . . .

They were given bags and we headed off marching down the street . . . not knowing what the parade held . . .

It turned out it was a trick-or-treating parade to the various village stores.  A pretty tremendous experience for this little zebra . . .

Cole doesn’t know what candy is, but he liked holding it.

You never know what the journey will entail.  May we all hold on to what is sweet.

———————————————————————————–

Updating as we go . . .

31-days-of-intentional-adventuresDay 1: About Intention
Day 2About Adventure
Day 3: Challenge – Community Event (Hayride)
Day 4: Challenge – Use Groupon (Daytrip)
Day 5: Challenge – Find Event on the Internet (Art Show +)
Day 6: Challenge – Head to the Local Fair
Day 7: Flashback Friday – AndrewLiza
Day 8: Challenge – Celebrate with Family
Day 9: Challenge – Celebrate Your Own Birthday
Day 10: Challenge – Adventure During Lunch
Day 11: Challenge – Accept an Invitation
Day 12: Challenge – Hot Air Balloon Part 1Part 2Part 3
Day 13: Challenge – Go to the Theater
Day 14:Flashback Friday – Andrew, Liza
Day 16: Challenge – A Giving Adventure
Day 17: Challenge – Highway Sign (Shaker Village)
Day 18:Challenge – Lunchtime Adventure (Outdoor Art)
Day 19: Challenge – Fire Safety Adventure
Day 20: Challenge – Lunchtime Adventure (REI)
Day 21: Challenge – Flashback Friday – AndrewLiza
Day 22: Challenge – Other People’s Homes
Day 23: Challenge – Adventures in Baking 
Day 24: Challenge – Adventure Outside
Day 25: Challenge – Embrace Speed 
Day 26: Challenge – A Haunted Maze 
Day 27: Challenge – A Night at the Museum
Day 28: Challenge – Invest in Experiences

31 Days {Day 28} : Invest in Experiences

“Invest in Experiences.”

Gordon and Gail MacDonald (pictured above praying for us on our wedding day), had a good deal of sage advice for us as we prepared to get married (in fact they have written all kinds of wise things, some of our favorite books by them are High Call, High Privilege and Ordering Your Private World).

We have so appreciated their advice to invest in experiences . . . to take the trip, enjoy the adventure, have the special dinner.  We have come to agree with them whole-heartedly that investing in experiences continues to deepen and strengthen our relationship and there is such joy in experiencing together.

One particular time when I am so grateful we invested in the experience was when we were in California for my schooling.  I was in the midst of a two-week intensive and we decided that during the weekend we would pay the extra money to go on a road trip. We were saving our pennies and it was a big investment for us to pay for a room in Pasedena and find and pay for a room elsewhere . . . but it meant we would get to explore the coast, have time off from studies and work and get to spend time together.

So we got in our rental car and headed up the coast . . .

Along the way we stopped and enjoyed the sights, like the seals and Hearst Castle . . .

But the really special part of our weekend away was our Bed & Breakfast . . .

We did a post this summer on the different kinds of places we do stay . . . Bed & Breakfasts have become a favorite.

The Bridge Creek Inn was a wonderful stay.

We found it online and there were two bedrooms.  We called just before the weekend and were able to get one.  We had hoped for the room with the sauna, but were happy to stay in the room that was cheaper.  On the way up we got a phone call . . . the other couple was unable to make it, so we would have the whole house to ourselves for the weekend at the lower price.  And we got the room with the sauna.

The Sharpteam’s Bed & Breakfast Tips

1.  Use the Internet . . . there are a number of good finders for B & Bs

– http://www.bedandbreakfast.com/

– http://www.bnbfinder.com/

– http://www.bbonline.com/

2.   Check the B & B’s website

– If you don’t like the look of a room online, don’t think it will look better in person

– We have found that B & Bs with nice website have almost always been nicer

3.  Go ahead and call last minute

– We have gotten many good deals at the last minute

– B & Bs have waived the two-night minimum when we have booked the day or week of

4.  You don’t have to have the breakfast

– We have had lots of nice breakfasts at B & Bs

– Sometimes we don’t want to have to be up and ready, we have just let the Inn Keepers know and it has never been a problem

We are so grateful for the times when we have invested in experiences.

———————————————————————————–

Updating as we go . . .

31-days-of-intentional-adventuresDay 1: About Intention
Day 2About Adventure
Day 3: Challenge – Community Event (Hayride)
Day 4: Challenge – Use Groupon (Daytrip)
Day 5: Challenge – Find Event on the Internet (Art Show +)
Day 6: Challenge – Head to the Local Fair
Day 7: Flashback Friday – AndrewLiza
Day 8: Challenge – Celebrate with Family
Day 9: Challenge – Celebrate Your Own Birthday
Day 10: Challenge – Adventure During Lunch
Day 11: Challenge – Accept an Invitation
Day 12: Challenge – Hot Air Balloon Part 1Part 2Part 3
Day 13: Challenge – Go to the Theater
Day 14:Flashback Friday – Andrew, Liza
Day 16: Challenge – A Giving Adventure
Day 17: Challenge – Highway Sign (Shaker Village)
Day 18:Challenge – Lunchtime Adventure (Outdoor Art)
Day 19: Challenge – Fire Safety Adventure
Day 20: Challenge – Lunchtime Adventure (REI)
Day 21: Challenge – Flashback Friday – AndrewLiza
Day 22: Challenge – Other People’s Homes
Day 23: Challenge – Adventures in Baking 
Day 24: Challenge – Adventure Outside
Day 25: Challenge – Embrace Speed 
Day 26: Challenge – A Haunted Maze 
Day 27: Challenge – A Night at the Museum

31 Days {Day 28} : Flashback Friday

Some of my earliest memories are of painting on my parents porch and sculpting at the kitchen table. Art was one of my favorite subjects in school and has always been part of who I am. I love things that engage the creative. I also very much enjoy sports. When I first met Liza, the sports part of my personality was definitely more obvious and I think it was a bit of a surprise when she learned that I had an appreciation for the arts.

Thankfully, during some of our early conversations various art topics came up and we quickly found a shared love for the creative. One of my favorite adventures with Liza has been checking out art galleries. We live in an area that has quite a few so it has been fun to go exploring on the weekends.

Art festival

One weekend we headed up to Bar Harbor Maine to celebrate our anniversary. On a drive around the island, we stumbled across an art festival and it ended up being the perfect little adventure in our day.

Andrew buying a Dale Hueppchen painting

We had the chance to meet and talk with one of the artists, Dale Hueppchen, and ended up purchasing 2 of his paintings over the course of the weekend. www.hueppchenfineart.com

Summer LivingSometimes adventures just happen to you, and when they do, I encourage you to embrace them. Think about bringing a piece of the adventure home be it artwork, a photo or even a rock as a reminder of those experiences.

Updating as we go . . .

31-days-of-intentional-adventuresDay 1: About Intention
Day 2About Adventure
Day 3: Challenge – Community Event (Hayride)
Day 4: Challenge – Use Groupon (Daytrip)
Day 5: Challenge – Find Event on the Internet (Art Show +)
Day 6: Challenge – Head to the Local Fair
Day 7: Flashback Friday – AndrewLiza
Day 8: Challenge – Celebrate with Family
Day 9: Challenge – Celebrate Your Own Birthday
Day 10: Challenge – Adventure During Lunch
Day 11: Challenge – Accept an Invitation
Day 12: Challenge – Hot Air Balloon Part 1Part 2Part 3
Day 13: Challenge – Go to the Theater
Day 14:Flashback Friday – Andrew, Liza
Day 16: Challenge – A Giving Adventure
Day 17: Challenge – Highway Sign (Shaker Village)
Day 18:Challenge – Lunchtime Adventure (Outdoor Art)
Day 19: Challenge – Fire Safety Adventure
Day 20: Challenge – Lunchtime Adventure (REI)
Day 21: Challenge – Flashback Friday – AndrewLiza
Day 22: Challenge – Other People’s Homes
Day 23: Challenge – Adventures in Baking 
Day 24: Challenge – Adventure Outside
Day 25: Challenge – Embrace Speed 
Day 26: Challenge – A Haunted Maze 

31 Days {Day 27} : A Night at the Museum

If you were to ask my two year old where he wanted to go today . . . on any given day at any time he would answer with uninhibited enthusiasm, “The Museum!”  He means the Wenham Museum, and it is his favorite place to go and explore.

This month the museum hosted an evening of “mystery” at the museum at night.  I had many reasons for not going . . . including that he would be out when we would normally be putting him to bed, he is too little to appreciate it, it might be scary . . .

But with my mother’s urging, we embraced the adventure, and I am so glad we did.  He had such a wonderful time.

There was a treasure hunt all set up, that he started doing with us, but he liked playing in the circus room, so he played with his grandmother (and was photographed for the local paper)  . . .

While his papa and mama completed the treasure hunt . . .

Once we did find the answer to the treasure hunt, “Conductor,” Cole went to get the prize . . .

I was concerned about the candlelight tour  . . . but Cole was a champ

Our little zebra walked around the wooden boards of the Claflin-Richards House and listened to the tales of its past occupants . . .

It was a great and memorable night at the museum, and I am so grateful that I let go of the “shoulds” and went for a special evening with our little guy . . .

———————————————————————————–

Updating as we go . . .

31-days-of-intentional-adventuresDay 1: About Intention
Day 2About Adventure
Day 3: Challenge – Community Event (Hayride)
Day 4: Challenge – Use Groupon (Daytrip)
Day 5: Challenge – Find Event on the Internet (Art Show +)
Day 6: Challenge – Head to the Local Fair
Day 7: Flashback Friday – AndrewLiza
Day 8: Challenge – Celebrate with Family
Day 9: Challenge – Celebrate Your Own Birthday
Day 10: Challenge – Adventure During Lunch
Day 11: Challenge – Accept an Invitation
Day 12: Challenge – Hot Air Balloon Part 1Part 2Part 3
Day 13: Challenge – Go to the Theater
Day 14:Flashback Friday – Andrew, Liza
Day 16: Challenge – A Giving Adventure
Day 17: Challenge – Highway Sign (Shaker Village)
Day 18:Challenge – Lunchtime Adventure (Outdoor Art)
Day 19: Challenge – Fire Safety Adventure
Day 20: Challenge – Lunchtime Adventure (REI)
Day 21: Challenge – Flashback Friday – AndrewLiza
Day 22: Challenge – Other People’s Homes
Day 23: Challenge – Adventures in Baking 
Day 24: Challenge – Adventure Outside
Day 25: Challenge – Embrace Speed 
Day 26: Challenge – A Haunted Maze 

31 Days {Day 26} : A Haunted Maze

I love being intentional about embracing Fall.  It is a beautiful season of colors, gatherings, and crisp days.  I do not love all of the ghoulishness of Halloween.  It is not my favorite holiday.

It is our month of intentional adventures, and we are not all that interested in pursuing scary halloween-y adventures.

But when our local corn maze made the national news . . .

We decided to not just go to the corn maze, like we have done the past few years . . .

We went to the “Haunted Corn Maze

The line was long, filled with teenagers texting, but once you made it through the first line there was an opportunity to bounce while you waited, so we took advantage of that . . .

We headed off into the field . . .

I was not sure why on earth I was doing this.  I was not scared . . . it was clear that there were various mannequins and real people scattered throughout the corn on the ready to jump out at me or surprise us . . .

There was a part of me that wanted to see Ben and Andrew’s reactions.  My husband and I went through a haunted house our first October dating . . . Andrew hit a guy that jumped out at us.  I definitely did not want a replay of that.

It was an odd adventure.  And after a couple of photos in the maze a creepy lady followed us to tell us no more pictures . . .

But here is the thing . . . I laughed.  We laughed.  A lot.  The path wound into the woods and past all kinds of characters.  And it was a funny thing that these people were waiting to jump out at us and we were waiting to be jumped at.  It is an odd holiday, Halloween.

And I don’t know that I need to do a haunted maze again, but I am grateful for the adventuring and the laughing . . .

———————————————————————————–

Updating as we go . . .

31-days-of-intentional-adventuresDay 1: About Intention
Day 2About Adventure
Day 3: Challenge – Community Event (Hayride)
Day 4: Challenge – Use Groupon (Daytrip)
Day 5: Challenge – Find Event on the Internet (Art Show +)
Day 6: Challenge – Head to the Local Fair
Day 7: Flashback Friday – AndrewLiza
Day 8: Challenge – Celebrate with Family
Day 9: Challenge – Celebrate Your Own Birthday