Putting in the work

I originally wanted to start by saying “sorry this blog is waaaaay late” but you know what?? Screw it. I really really like blogging months after an event, experience, or even season for that matter.

So here’s the beginning of our summer!

We started of with a much anticipated hike we’ve had been trying to time perfectly for the past 2 years. Yeah, I know right. But whyyy? Because of Mother Nature, of course!

Our patience was rewarded with beautiful Rhododendron “peak blooms” located atop Roan Mountain, a five mile ridgeline from Roan High Knob to Carver’s Gap along the Appalachian Trail.

They only bloom once a year and the sweet spot constantly changes so it’s kinda finicky to plan ahead. Lucky for us, we didn’t have much planned for June and we ended up hiking a few days before our 5-year wedding anniversary. Perfect!

I still remember what a gorgeous day it was but remember the vibrant blooms even more–the flame azaleas (orange flowers) were my favorite! I didn’t get much photos of the pink rhododendrons but they were pretty as well.

If you look closely below, you’ll see people hiking on the Appalachian trail just like we did.  Cool fact, on the left side is Tennessee and right side is North Carolina. 

I don’t know why it is but I love it when a trail gets tightly narrow AND when there’s flowers sprinkle along the pathway.

We even caught sight of a deer lazily grazing for a late breakfast. I was so still. And when I heard people behind me, I instinctively remember making a soft shush sound  and they immediately stopped and looked at where I had Hans pointed and enjoyed the view too.

There were also plenty of other wildflowers showing off like these yellow ones. I regret not taking a photo but I loved the tall grass swaying in the wind too.

My handsome husband. I love him so much. And I love hiking with him. Best hiking partner.

People always ask about our hiking adventures and we usually talk about the breathtaking views and enjoying nature at her finest.

But really. I almost never mention just how much I enjoy Khang’s company. It’s hard to explain but here goes.

There’s something to be said about taking a person out of modern technology and comforts like air conditioning–you’re definitely uncomfortable and out of your element. Then asking them to use only their feet or what they can carry, walk, and enjoy it. Like truly enjoy it. I’ve learned that some cannot do it. Just can’t or simply don’t want to even try.

But here’s the another thing. Do it with someone else, who may or may not be on the same physical level as you. Again, honestly I’ve seen it annoy some even me at times.

But Khang? He’s so so patient with me. And add me wanting to take photos with Hans, which takes even more time. Again, a freaking saint. Not once during any of our hikes (that’s a lot) has he made me feel guilty or shamed me for being slower than him. He encourages, motivates, and even throws in a few “yeeeeah baby, get it” in there. 

I love it. And him for it all. What a blessing it is to be married to a person, who is not only willing to put in the work but enjoy it all at the same time.

To me, it’s kinda like our attitude with our marriage. There are definitely times when he or I (or both) are uncomfortable with whatever it may be, but we stick it out, communicate with each other, do the hard work, and reap the benefits of it all at the end. 

Our latest challenge is couples therapy. Loads of self-reflecting and evaluating our relationship. Lots of time and effort but already very rewarding. I don’t mind sharing more about our therapy sessions if anyone wants to personally reach out to me-email is best. I strongly encourage anyone who has or is thinking about it. The hardest part so far as been making and going to that first appointment. The best is having Khang with me every step of the way.

Last look admiring the flaming azaleas. A favorite “local hike” of mine for sure. Be sure to check it out and plan ahead–there’s a Rhodo Watch on the Roan Mountain Facebook page that was very helpful when we were tracking peak blooms.

Thank you for reading and following along

with me,

Jules.

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