Saturday, December 31, 2011

happy new year.

2011 was certainly a gift. God blessed us richly in many ways. He also taught us many new things as we faced trials and hardships and difficult questions. We are trying to love better and live in thankfulness.

The Top Ten of 2011 (in no particular order):
1. Celebrating our second wedding anniversary with a day off work to spend together.
2. Enjoying our first full year in our house...and loving all of the projects and work we've been able to do on it.
3. Beacon joining our little family. He's definitely a lively puppy, but we definitely love him!
4. Rob starting his internship with Spectrum Hospice and getting confirmation that this work is his life passion.
5. Volunteering as a middle school youth group leader again. It sure is good to be back.
6. Starting in the Masters of Counseling program at Spring Arbor University and achieving a 4.0 semester.
7. Being proactive in learning about our finances and starting to practice being stewards with what we have.
8. Starting a new job at Compass College of Cinematic Arts - so blessed to be able to love going to work.
9. Celebrating with our friends: a wedding, a baby, two babies on the way, new jobs, new houses, new dogs!
10. Being intentional about spending more time with our families whenever possible.

A Couple of Our Goals for 2012 (in no particular order):
1. Send more cards to friends and family near and far - we think about them often and want them to know.
2. Update the blog more often - so we can look back on the things we've done and stay in touch with friends.
3. Continue to learn how to budget our finances and be stewards of the gifts God has blessed us with.
4. Be intentional about spending time with people. It's easy to be busy and get caught up in hours at work and good grades in school and taking care of the house, but we want to work on building genuine relationships.

We hope that 2011 was a year of learning and growing for you just as it was for us and we pray that 2012 will be filled with hope and that our eyes will be opened to seeing the world the way Jesus sees it: with love.

So, Happy New Year from the Bergmans. We hope you're enjoying your celebrations - whatever they may be. At our house, we're thankful for a low key night: Bananagrams, popcorn, Root Beer, watching the Rockin' New Year's Eve party on TV, and being a-okay with going to bed by 12:05am! Cheers!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

merry christmas.

Merry Christmas!
With love,
Rob, Stephanie & Beacon

From our little family to yours, we pray that you have a Christmas that is filled with celebration, love, and all the joy that comes from giving and receiving while we spend time with those you love. We know that this kind of true joy can only come because of the hope we have in the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. But, we also recognize that this time of year is filled with pain, grief, and sadness for a lot of families as well. If this is true of your Christmas season, it is our prayer that amid your sadness you might be able to recognize that the hope of Christ can never be lost in darkness - in fact, Christmas causes us to remember the fact that Christ came and triumphed over the darkness!

If you're like us, you've already taken part in some Christmas celebrations with your families. But, before you continue on to all the various parties that you have planned for today and tomorrow, will you take a few minutes to listen to these two songs? They invite us to remember that Christmas is most certainly about gifts - but not the kind that come wrapped in red and green paper with sparkly ribbon and bows on top. Rather, let us remember the gift that came wrapped in humility, given not because our names were drawn out of a hat by a family member, but given because our names are written in the Book of Life and because God loves us so much.

"Jesus Is Alive" - Josh Wilson

"Alive" - Natalie Grant

Monday, December 19, 2011

two years.

Today Rob and I celebrate two years of marriage. On December 19, 2009, I was fairly certain that I could never be more in love than I was standing in my wedding dress, saying "I do" to my best friend. Well, I'm here to testify that I was wrong. Today, December 19, 2011, I am more in love than I was on our wedding day. I think it's because I know just a little bit more about what love really means (and still have a lot to learn). Two years have flown by and I can only imagine that it just keeps getting better and better...

All photo credits to LVL Photography

I'm am so thankful for the wonderful gift God gave me in Rob. We've accomplished a lot in two years: we both got new jobs that we love, we bought our first house, we got a dog, we've both started Masters programs, we've discovered lots of dreams and faced some tough stuff too, but we get more and more excited with every passing day for all that is to come in the years ahead. Every day there are more smiles and tears and laughter and areas to grow...but, I'm so blessed to have my best friend to share it all with. 

Here's to Year 3.

Monday, December 5, 2011

crazy life. puppy lovin'.

Life has been super crazy lately! At least, that's how it feels. Rob and I have both been really busy with school and work (some big events going on this week!). All that to say, there hasn't been much time to give the blog any attention! But, here we are today: thankful that Rob just finished taking his final exam (confirmed via text 30 seconds ago! It's Christmas Break!) and I finished my class last week and have the next month off from school.

To celebrate, here's a ridiculous video of Beacon that I took while trying to eat supper tonight! He is teething so he has a sock with ice in it to chew on. Apparently, it was more fun used in a different manner. And clearly, you will see that he does not know how to sit still. (Also, please excuse the awkward camera handling.) The strange noises in the background are from this equally crazy video made by some Kuyper students!

You'd think he'd give himself whiplash or something!
We hope that even in your busiest moments you still find ways to laugh and enjoy the little things around you!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

baby brother.

I've spent the past four days quietly reflecting on what life would be like if Kyle David lived longer than he did. Sometimes I'm not sure I could have handled two little brothers. Other times I've wondered if I would have the same friends I do now or if he would have been friends with them instead. I've wondered who he would be more like. Would he like golf? Play the piano? What would he be studying in college?

Then my attention turns and I remember that it's not up to me to decide all of that. God is the giver of life and what he gives, he also has power to take away. It's up to us to be thankful for it all no matter what the situation. So, today I'll be thankful for Kyle's short time on earth - for the smiles I'm sure he gave my two-year old self; I'll be thankful that he's worshiping Jesus even in this very moment; and I'll be thankful for the way he causes me to think about how small life is and how big God's sovereignty is - especially on these few days every year in mid-November.

Kyle David Vander Heide  |  November 11-14, 1989

Thursday, November 10, 2011

mr. b's first snow.

Well, friends, despite the fact that the sunshine is currently reflecting off the pretty yellow leaves on the tree in the front yard, it happened. It S-N-O-W-E-D today. As much as I dislike snow, even I have to wear a smile when I see the first big flakes fall from the sky (especially because I knew it wouldn't stick to the ground for long and would be melted by tomorrow!). The first snow of the season reminds me of the happy times that are ahead: celebrating Christmas, sitting in our warm house sipping coffee in the morning while we watch the snow fall, wearing sweatshirts and sweatpants, and all sorts of other good things.

But this year the snow meant something else: Mr. Beacon Puppy's first snowfall!

He loved it.

Here he is trying to bite the snowflakes. It's like it was playing a game or something.

And here he is being the cutest puppy ever catching snowflakes on his tongue! 

Rob and I are currently reading the book Cold Tangerines, by Shauna Niequist. It is an awesome book. If you've never read it, you should. The tag line for the book is: "Celebrating the extraordinary nature of everyday life." I feel like we did that today by celebrating Mr. B's first snow - celebrating the little things that would be overlooked by so many...but make us stop and smile and say: "Thanks, God, for this awesome life and all the good things you've given us."

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Today, I am thankful for...

1. My Husband
     Who sang to me to wake me up this morning and let me open birthday presents in my robe and slippers.
2. Mr. Beacon Puppy
     Because he loves to snuggle on my lap in the morning and play Frisbee with me at night.
3. Seattle's Best Coffee
     Speaking of which, I'm going to go brew a fresh pot now.
4. My Parents
     Who celebrate me every day and who have loved me since before my birthdays even began.
5. My Siblings
     Because they know how to play "catch with a wettie" and make me laugh until I cry.
6. My In-Laws
     Father, Mother, Brother, Sisters - because they make me feel like I've always belonged.
7. Our Warm House
     A roof over my head is a gift on a cold, windy day like today. I can't believe we've been here for a year.
8. M&M Cookies 
     ...for breakfast. Yup, I just did that.
9. Friends
     Because whether they are old or new, near or far, they have made the last 24 years worth celebrating.  
10. Blogs
       Let's be honest, I just love reading about other people's lives...speaking of which, YoungHouseLove probably has a new post up by now.
11. Middle School Youth Group
       Small Group Night last night = 5 awesome girls, painting pumpkins, and a dance party. Win.
12. Intentional Communities
       ...and Rockford Reformed Church, in general. Thankful to be a part of a small group and a caring church family.
13. My Jobs
       So many people go without and yet I have two.
14. The Bible
       Which teaches me that even though the rain may fall, God will never use it to destroy the earth again.
15. Dog Training
       Because without it, I don't know if we would have ever taught Beacon to sit.
16. School (and Homework?)
       Even though it keeps us busy, I'm thankful for the opportunity Rob and I both have to get an education in fields we are passionate about.
17. Free Things
       Like a free birthday dinner at Ruby Tuesday and buy one, get one free birthday coupons for Cold Stone!
18. My Car
       Because Brett had to bike a mile across campus in the rain yesterday to get to class. Yuck.
19. Laughter
       There's nothing like laughing until the tears run down your face. Thankful that it happens to me often.
20. Electricity
       ...and the fact that we still have power, even though 5 Consumer's Energy trucks just drove down our road.
21. A Cold Coca-Cola
       Yum. Already know that's what's going to get me through writing a paper this afternoon.
22. Singing Along to the Radio
       We can meet God anywhere and worship in any way (even if people look at me strange as they drive by).
23. Date Night
       One night a week, just me and my boyfriend (and that my birthday fell on date night this week!).
24. The Reality of Life Everlasting
        Death, crime, pain, tears, and sickness seem more prevalent then ever recently. Thankful that this is not my forever home.

...and to God, who has - for now - blessed me with all these things...and another year to enjoy them.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

not home yet.

We have a hope and a future.

So thankful that He has already WON.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

middle school.

Last night was Chaos Day with the middle school youth group at Rockford Reformed Church! I had never experienced Chaos Day before but boy, am I glad I experienced it last night. What an awesome and fun relational way to allow for a safe place for students to be themselves! (If you saw how the leaders were dressed...let's just say that no one could feel out of place!)

As small groups we competed in a bunch of crazy games. Just imagine a 2-hour long combination of Trix yogurt, a hoola-hoop, saltine crackers, a sardine, string cheese, a pair of pantyhose, Cheetos and a bottle of Mountain Dew. AWESOME.

It is inspiring to watch leaders interact with students, exciting to watch students encourage and cheer for one another, and so refreshing to laugh and laugh and laugh. I'm so glad to be back with youth group this year.

Here's a picture of (most) my small group from last night in our chaos gear. We're missing one person but she left before I had a chance to grab my camera. Can't wait to spend the year investing in these awesome girls!

And here is a more accurate depiction of our night...and hopefully a perfect foreshadow to the year ahead!

I know there are people out there who think we're crazy for loving to spend time with middle schoolers. To that I will say: "How do you look at those faces and not want to spend time with middle schoolers?"

The last two weeks as I drove home after youth group, the song below came on the radio. There is no better feeling than to have seen God actively at work in the lives of students and then jump in your car, roll the windows down, and drive down the highway with these words blaring through your speakers...Christ is risen from the dead, that's what this really comes down to anyways, right?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

catch up.

I think it is time to play a little game of catch up. Unfortunately, we don't have much exciting to share. Now, that's not to say that life isn't so good. We are blessed abundantly with a warm house and good food and dear friends and family and a cute puppy and the season for hot caramel apple cider and the fact that we only have one little tree in our yard to rake leaves from. Life is good. It's just really busy which means we don't have a lot of exciting stuff to share. Boo.

Here's a look into our typical week:
Sunday - Enjoy a restful morning then attend church at RRC (on a rotating basis we set-up for the service or run sound) and soon we will be starting to participate in the small group ministry that is starting up. We are calling them Intentional Communities and we are both really excited to get to know some new people.
Monday - Steph works at Kuyper, Rob works at Spectrum Community Services. Rob goes straight from work to class at WMU. Alyssa and Hannah come over to watching Dancing With The Stars while we all do homework. Oh, and the puppy goes crazy multiple times throughout the evening.
Tuesday - Steph works at Kuyper, Rob works at Spectrum. Steph goes straight from work to class at SAU (until 10pm!). Rob sometimes works at night (either from home or on the road) because he has to make up hours that he's using for his internship. We collapse into bed by 10:30pm.
Wednesday - Steph is to work at Compass College of Cinematic Arts by 7:50am to make a million pots of coffee to help the students make it through the day. Rob spends the morning working at his internship with Hospice and then spends the afternoon working at Spectrum. He heads straight to class after work. Steph has dinner at church and then hangs out with awesome middle schoolers at Youth Group. (Then we watch an episode of Criminal Minds.) 
Thursday - Steph works at Kuyper and Rob works at Spectrum. We FINALLY have a night when we are both at home. Usually we're too tired to do anything. We get to make supper together and catch up on the week's episode of Biggest Loser that we missed on Tuesday.
Friday - Steph works at Compass and Rob puts in a full day with Hospice. At night we try to do something fun - last week we went to ArtPrize! (If you haven't gone, DO IT.) This week we're celebrating Alyssa's birthday.
Saturday - We spend the morning trying to clean the house up from the craziness of the week and do laundry so we have clothes to wear again. In the afternoon we have puppy training so that we can learn to control the crazy ball of fur that lives with us now. *Insert mental image of the crazy ball of fur sleeping peacefully by the back door right now...* At night we usually have to do homework and maybe get to work on some projects around the house. (And then we watch more Criminal Minds.)
And then we do it all over again...whew.

As we were getting ready for bed last night I said to Rob, "When people ask how things are going, I don't like to respond because I always just feel like I'm complaining that we're so busy...but really, I'm not complaining." We have both come to realize that God has created this season of life for us and we're so grateful for the things we are learning and the ways we are growing. And we're thankful for a puppy to cuddle with at night, Mountain Dew and Diet Coke, and our bed that catches us when we collapse at the end of the day.

Here are a few pictures of some things we've been doing to try and relax and do things we enjoy.

It was definitely time to replace that yucky old light that was falling apart outside our front door. We had been on a hunt for quite some time for a light set that we could put on the garage and on the porch but everything we found was so gosh-darn expensive. And then it happened. One Saturday morning Rob was looking at the Menard's ad and found a 2-pack of lights for $14.99 - SCORE! So, we picked up 2 packs (4 lights total) and we put one on the front porch, two will go on either side of the garage and the 4th one will go on the back patio. Behold the goodness of a new light below.

And Oh! what a beautiful light it is. The glass is textured. And I love it.
(I also just realized that these two pictures could be one of those "What's Different?" games.
Feel free to play if you'd like. Consider it our gift to you.)

We also wanted to find a cheap solution to our nasty old garage door that is completely miscolored. It actually sort of looked white when the old tan siding was on the garage, but now that we've replaced the old siding for this shiny white vinyl stuff, the garage door stuck out like a sore thumb. So, I went for it with the industrial strength, flat white spray paint and primer. This is obviously an in-progress picture and it's a bit more completed now but it still needs another coat (weather got in the way, then life did). 

Like I said, we're also in the process of puppy training. We're going to a class on Saturday afternoons in Allendale where we learn how to train Beacon and then we come home and practice. The picture above is one of the few times he's actually sitting still (the puppy, not Rob). Right now he only sits when we have a treat in our hand and are pushing his nose up so he has to sit down. We're also supposed to be teaching him "down" and "heel" this week too...but something makes me think that we're not going to be the star pupils in class on Saturday. Oh well. You win some, you lose some. He's cute though, huh? (This time I'm talking about both Rob and the puppy.)

And there you have it. Life as the Bergman's currently know it. Crazy...and great.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

beacon. day 2.

Well, we're coming to the end of our second full day with Beacon at home with us. Boy, is he cute. He's cute, that is, when he's not peeing on the carpet or biting our hands or barking 427 times per night while we try to sleep. Ok, fine, he's still cute then, too.

Remember when he looked like this?

Beacon, 3 weeks old.
Or when he looked like this?

Beacon, 4 weeks old.
Or what about when he suddenly shot up like a weed and looked like this at our third visit?

Beacon, 6 weeks old. Alyssa, 1086 weeks old.
And here he is during his first night at home with us.

Beacon, 8 weeks old. Stephanie's hair, 2 days old. (Please, forgive it. It knows not what it's doing.)
Hard to believe he was so small and unpuppy like when we first met him 5 short weeks ago. We're already thankful for the fun he's brought us and we know that he will end up being an important part of our family in the days and years to come. So far he seems to have a great personality and makes us want to snuggle his soft fur all the time. I never had pets growing up, so this is a new experience for me...and I think I like it. *Insert silent cheering and high fives here! (Don't want to wake him up, you know.)* Beacon has now gone to his crate by himself and fallen asleep twice tonight! We must be doing something right with this crate training thing after all. 

Some of our friends from church asked us today how things were going with him. When we were talking with Beth I mentioned that I think it's a good thing we don't have kids yet - I don't think I can handle this getting up every 2 hours throughout the night thing for too much longer. She just laughed and said, "Puppies are harder than kids. If you can make it through training Beacon, you'll be just fine when you have kids. We did the puppy thing after we had kids and I will NEVER have a puppy again." Glad to know all the rumors of "puppies prepare you for kids" are actually true! (Here's a treat, Beacon. Our future kiddos thank you.)

And, just because he's cute, here's one last picture for the day. All tuckered out and ready for bed (I hope)!

Pardon the poor lighting. I didn't want to wake him up with the flash. It's easier to do homework when he's sleeping.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

bland to BAM.

It's almost been a year since we moved into our house. Hard to believe, huh? I thought so too. But then at other times it doesn't feel like a very long time. Like sometimes when I walk into the house, I can still smell Nancy, the previous owner. Ok, maybe that was weird. I shouldn't have told you that. But, nonetheless, it still doesn't always smell like home to me. Except for last Saturday when we were cleaning the house, Rob was going to vacuum and we have this Febreze vacuum stuff that you sprinkle on the carpet before you vacuum to help make it smell better. I didn't realize he was going to use it and when I came upstairs, it smelled like home! I had an instant flashback to the apartment because we always used the product there. Weird how smell can do that to you, isn't it? Anyways...this post isn't about Nancy or how she smells or how our house smells, it's about our front door. 

Just so you don't think I'm completely crazy, Nancy did have something to do with the original post topic before I got distracted by the smell of home. Nancy is a very nice lady, but boy, did she make some boring (and/or terrible) paint color choices (if you saw our bedroom before we painted it, you would know what I mean. My mom described the color as: "Baby poop after they eat squash." Trying going to bed in that every night). The front door was one of the boring choices, in my opinion. There was nothing about it that said, "Hey! Look at me!" or "I want to welcome you to our house! Come in!" So, Rob and I started thinking and decided that bright blue was going to be our answer. 

After searching at a couple of different stores (no need to pay full price, right?) and scrounging through the "Oops Paint" sections, we finally found it - a gallon of bright blue paint - and for only $5!

And so, my friends, here you have it. Our front door went from bland to BAM! in a matter of 2 hours.


Our front door is so bright that you can't even tell that the painter's tape is still on it around the window and the door handle - it blends right in. And actually, the picture doesn't even do the actual color justice. It's brighter. But, I like it. I can't believe what a difference it makes from the outside. Something about driving up and seeing the bright blue door says: "Now it looks like Rob and Stephanie live here." I'd show you a picture from the outside, but the door only has one coat of paint on it currently and it needs at least one more. So...we'll do the final reveal after that happens. 

Or, you could just stop by and see it. Unlike the boring green door, it will welcome you right up on to the front porch.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

butcher block.

In order to create some more counter space in our kitchen, we had been on the look out for an old dresser that we could paint and top with a butcher block. After doing some research, I realized just how expensive butcher block tops actually are! So, I left that DIY dream behind and moved on to this beauty instead. (Please excuse our messy garage. It looks much better now.)

I found this pre-made butcher block/kitchen island on Craigslist. Yes, we do love Craigslist. And, you should too, if you don't already. The best part is that we bought it from a guy named Rick and Rob and I both had created a picture in our minds of what he looked like. Let's just say his crazy, curly blonde hair that stuck out in 500 different directions was not what we pictured a "Rick" to look like!

The island was dirty as all get out and needed a good coat of paint in order to better match our current kitchen. So, a few coats of paint and poly and 3 weeks later, here she is now:

I love that there is a full size drawer and an enclosed cupboard. My baking cupboards are currently packed full and not nearly big enough, so I plan to move that stuff into the cupboard of the island. It even has a slide out drawer in the cupboard for easy access! We also don't plan on storing our empty coffee cans and our flashlight on the shelf, but hey, whatever. Eventually there will be a second shelf that Rob made for me (it still needs another coat of poly) and then we will store some of our more frequently used pots and pans there since their current cupboard is not an awesome situation.

You will notice that Beacon has already invaded our kitchen and he hasn't even moved in yet! I figured we should get used to the bowls being there before they have food and water in them for us to make a mess with if we trip over them...which, with me, could possibly still happen. I'd like you to take note of the fact that these bowls are usually $10.99 EACH at PetSmart and we scored them for $1.87 EACH instead!

It adds so much space! I love it! And the top of the island matches almost exactly to our current cupboards. I don't know how that worked out so well, but I'm so glad it did! And the black accent works out nice with our other black accents - coffee pot, canisters, etc.

You will also notice the announcement of the next project in the foreground of the last picture. We'll have to see how it turns out before I show it to anyone. But, for $5 at Goodwill, anything is worth a try, right?

Friday, August 5, 2011

weekend away, part 1.

Last week Rob and I decided that we need to get away, even if it was just for one night. We've been quite busy lately and our lives are only going to get busier in the next few weeks as both Compass and Kuyper have Orientation and as Rob finishes up his summer class and starts a new semester and as I begin classes at Spring Arbor. So, we spontaneously (as spontaneous as we get, at least) planned an overnight trip to Cadillac. Perfect.

We've been wanting to go kayaking for quite some time now and after a little bit of research, I discovered a neat little place on the Manistee River up in Manton, just north of Cadillac. So, last Friday night after I got home from work, we loaded up the car and headed north. The drive is just under 2 hours so it's a perfect distance for an over night trip.

Cadillac is apparently a hoppin' place during the summer because we had a hard time finding a hotel room on such short notice. But, the day before we left, I was able to book this little room at the Rodeway Inn. Definitely not a 5-star hotel, but it was clean and provided breakfast so it worked for me.

After we checked in at the hotel, we decided to explore Cadillac a bit and find some pizza for supper. It has been quite some time since I had been to Cadillac and Rob was just a kid the last time he was there. After we drove around for a bit, we found a Hungry Howie's, ordered some pizza and found a beautiful park to eat at. We couldn't have asked for better weather. The sun was shining, there was a nice breeze and the temperature was in the mid-70s. AWESOME. There was even a band playing music at the park while we were there.

After we ate dinner, we spent a long time walking around Lake Cadillac. It isn't a big lake, but it's definitely beautiful and provided a perfectly relaxing evening for us as we wandered the sidewalk around the lake and found a nice little bench to sit on and watch the sun start to set.

The thing that I love most about Cadillac is all the memories I made there as a kid. My very first best friend, Rachel, moved to Cadillac the summer after we finished 4th grade. It was probably the worst experience of my young life at the time. I remember laying in bed multiple nights in a row, crying myself to sleep after they moved. So thankful to have had such a wonderful friend during my childhood. After Rachel moved to Cadillac, I spent many weekends and a couple of weeks throughout the summer at their house with their family. 

I made Rob go on an adventure with me after we walked around at the lake to see if I could find my way back to their house (Rachel is now married, has a beautiful baby boy, and the rest of their family has moved to Washington State after taking a call at another church). Surprisingly, I knew exactly where to go to get back to their house. It looked a bit different then I remember, but only in color. We sat in the car in front of the house and I told Rob story after story of the time I spent there (the house is for sale and no one is living there currently so we weren't being too creepy or anything). I even found the path that led to a small wooded area near their house where Rachel and I built a tree fort one summer.

After our little trip down my memory lane, we headed back to the hotel to play Phase 10 and eat Skittles. We watched a show about logging and fell asleep early. It's a good thing, too, because we had a BIG day ahead of us on Saturday. We got up early on Saturday and packed up, had some breakfast and headed about 20 minutes north to Manton to find Chippewa Landing Canoe and Kayak Livery. It was back in the middle of nowhere and we only found it thanks to signs posted occasionally on the side of the many, many dirt roads we were driving on (I admit I was slightly paranoid that we were driving ourselves into a terrible situation - but that's just because I watch too many episodes of Criminal Minds). 

And that is Part 1 of our weekend away. I'll post Part 2 soon but I wanted to keep you in suspense about what happens next so that you have to come back and read our blog again. Actually, the real reason you have to wait for Part 2 is because Rob wants a back scratch and I can't find the camera right now so I can't load the rest of the pictures from Saturday so therefore I cannot post about the rest of our adventure. 

But, I will tell you this. It involved 26 miles and some sweet sunburn...and a perfect day with my best friend.