Through the Pines

So, I'm sitting here at Hendry's Boathouse on the Beach in Santa Barbara. Enjoying a Pacifico on draft and taking in my ocean view. 

How did I end up here? 

How did I get so lucky? 

One year ago on this day I was headed a different direction than usual on Highway 95. 

Not only on the pavement but in my life as well.

Today I launch my blog, my biggest accomplishment thus far. I want to share with you for my very first post the journey that led me here and how much California has impacted my life in the past year. 

Living in Lewiston, Idaho I was working as a receptionist in a locally owned gym. I was also engaged, overweight and in a very dreary place in my life. I was lost. I was running in place. I was ashamed of my health, finances and my slim to none motivation to help myself. 

I finally committed to looking for work in the cutting horse industry again. I knew it would mean relocating and packing all my baggage with me (fiancé and all). I'd be leaving friends, family and local traditions behind but for some reason I knew it was what I needed to do for myself and the life I wanted to create. 

I started making phone calls... Jobs came up easily in Texas but I wasn't set on moving to Texas, it wasn't my top choice... So, an opportunity came up in Los Olivos, CA. 

I flew down to interview and it was some kind of crazy. I landed in Santa Barbara at sunset. 

With the pink sky, palm trees and the ocean, I was sold just like that. The weekend went on and I was quickly reminded how much I loved working with the horses and all the hard work that came along with it. I caught myself not missing my significant other that I had left at home… I caught myself feeling like I had a lot more living and loving left to do. I felt like I could start all over and become the woman I had always dreamt of being. 

So that's exactly what I did. 

I flew home, woke my fiancé up on the couch and told him how I felt. It was not easy, but he deserved better than what I was able to give him at that time. I couldn't find the love for myself, let alone love someone else. 

Two weeks later on March 15th, 2016 I moved into my barn bunkhouse in Los Olivos and went to work and I never EVER looked back. 

In this past year I have loved harder than ever before. I built friendships that will last a lifetime and long after that. I created a work ethic that I am incredibly proud of. I searched for and successfully discovered a relationship with God. I lost and found my soul when I swam in the ocean for the first time. I felt LIFE like I'd never felt it before. I didn't know what living really was all about until I took the opportunities that scared me to death. 

I love my job, I love my ambition, I love my new home, I love my friends, I love MY LIFE. 

But after everything, I think I love myself the most and that was the ultimate journey after all. 

I grew up roaming, searching and growing in the Pines... But I made dreams come true walking through the Poppies... 

Welcome to Poppies and Pines.


My first ride through blue bonnets with a very dear friend that I didn't know would mean such a great deal to me later.

My first ride through blue bonnets with a very dear friend that I didn't know would mean such a great deal to me later.