Thursday, December 23, 2010

9,000 Miles

9,000 miles & just in time. I am actually a few hundred miles over, but haven't had the time to sit down & write my next post in a while.

Typically, I keep this blog to let friends & family at different coordinates across the country keep up on my recent activities. We all know how awesome I am about talking on the phone, so this has been a good way to keep in touch w/ those I love while living so far away. However, the posts I've made while on this trip have not been about that. They have, instead, been something for me to look back on. To look back and see the best/worst time in my life (thus far). To find strength in my weakest moments. To remember what I've learned, to never lose the strength I've gained, or to never lose the appreciation of so many amazing people in my life.

I've always wanted to be able to fit every possession I need into my car. As a minimalist when it comes to a lot of things in life, I've always idolized the simplicity of being able to fit everything I need into my car. To just pick up & go. For the first time in my life, I can actually say that I can do it, and have spent the last few months proving it. I've even drastically slimmed down on my possessions during the trip to boot. Now that I know what I can & cannot live w/out I plan on going through everything in storage back home & cleaning house there too.

Among MANY other exciting things I've had the pleasure of experiencing over the past few weeks the most notable would have to be the recent birth of my newest nephew, Aron Marshall.

The journey continues...

I’m coming home. I’m coming home. Tell the World I’m coming home. Let the rain wash away all the pain of yesterday. I know my kingdom awaits and they’ve forgiven my mistakes. I’m coming home, I’m coming home. Tell the World that I’m coming back where I belong, yeah I never felt so strong. I feel like there’s nothing that I can’t try

My next post, although it will be far after 12,000 miles, won't come til after I've reached Missoula. I miss ya'll, both in Missoula & all over the country/world. If I haven't seen you already, I'll be seeing you soon. xoxo.

The beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning?

Telling me to get my shit together
now I got my shit together,
Now I made it through the weather
better days are gonna get better
I'm so sorry that it didn't work out I'm moving on,
I'm so sorry but it's over now,
the pain is gone.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

6,000 Miles

     The journey continues...

    I finally found it. The most painful thing I could ever lose in my life, my smile. Just like that it started showing up again. Of course, I've had a little help from so many amazing people. Some new, some old, but all people I care deeply about, and have come to realize how deeply many of them care for me.
     :-) See? There it goes again! (Even my favorite cookie knows what's up)

     This year has been a roller coaster ride for me. The ride has shown me some incredible ups, but also some incredibly deep lows.

     My greatest worry that my taking off and traveling around the country for 5 months was that I was simply running away from everything negative in my life. The idea of running away from my troubles is something I've never given a second thought to. I had/have a lot to be thankful for, but the pressure of the events of this part year was just becoming too much. I sat down for a long conversation w/ an old family friend & was amazed at some of the words coming out of our mouths as I sat & talked to him. We talked for hours & he helped me come to some amazing realizations. My journey, this journey, has allowed me to sit back & finally take the time to grieve the events of the past year. To grieve the unexpected death of an amazing friend, the loss of a job, a home, a love. It has given me the time to heal. Or to at least begin the healing process in some instances. The time that I would not allow myself back home.

     My travels continue to lead me into some amazing places.

     I took 2nd place in my first 5k, but did not fare so well in my first 10k. I have run a few more 10Ks since & my time is steadily improving. I am happily running more and more miles on a weekly basis (all done in my Vibrams I might add) & continue to keep short term goals (Shawnee Extreme Rogaine & a lot more races K races) just in front of me to keep me working hard towards the Grizzly Man Adventure Race this spring. I'm also pretty sure I have acquired a running coach for when I return to Missoula! Hopefully I can use the indoor track at the UM rec center to keep me on my feet til Montana thaws.

     I've also been taking any free time to read more (something I love to do, & will continue to make time for in the winter back home). I am open to anything (fiction or non), so if you have a suggestion, please share them! Columbus has an amazing metropolitan library system & I am taking full advantage of it while I continue to call Pataskala my home base for the next 7 weeks.
      (Hopefully) this spring I will be returning back to school to finish my degree at the U of M. This does not mean I am saying goodbye to my dog training career or putting an end to my hard built company. I will continue to do what I love most while earning/finishing my degree. I've already got a growing tight training schedule building for when I return to work in January. I miss my clients & the dogs. I am very excited to return to school, especially since I will be considered an in state resident (which drops the price of tuition from about 22,000 a year to 7,000). I also had the opportunity to visit my alma matter, NK9,  here in Columbus. I spoke to a class about to graduate (hopefully they all passed their final exams & practicals!). I also finally got to see my name on the plaque in the hallways. Surreal.

     I am working a part time seasonal job here in Columbus to help me earn a little extra money for my travels (& putting some away for school). During my free days I have been fortunate enough to jump on some planes to continue my traveling. I've had a blast visiting many states & cities & (more importantly) the people in them. Mi Baja is also enjoying the rest. She's going to need it, b/c in a few short weeks we'll be making the trek back to Missoula on a very indirect route. This will also slow down my blog posts for a while since I'm not racking up the miles on her as much. Don't worry, I'll get right back into my normal routine when I get back to Missoula & my normal life. This journey is about me tho, & I'm going to enjoy every second of it while I can.

     I also need to take the time to congratulate two dear friends of mine on their engagement. Congrats Kristin & Tyler. I am so happy to be a part of your life & look forward to watching you two grow as the years pass. Also, I refuse to wear another ugly bridesmaid dress, so it better be pretty!

Free- is all that she could bleed
That’s why’ll she’ll never stay
White- bare naked in the night
Just lookin’ for some play
Just another girl that wants to rule the world
Any time or place

And when she gets into your head
You know she’s there to stay

Slow- She’s burnin’ in your soul
With whispers in your ear
It’s okay I’ll give it anyway
Just get me out of here
You’ll plead- you’ll get down on your knees
For just another taste
And when you think she’s let you in
That’s when she fades away

You want it
She’s got it
Holly’s Chambers gonna change your mind

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

3,000 Miles

When your love has gone
You carry on
This is her song
This the song for no one

(an excerpt from a log of my travels)

While I may not be what I would consider happy while on this trip, I am happy to have done it.
I am 3,000 miles into a trip to the depths of my very soul.

One of the [most important] things I've learned is that if you're not truly lost in life, you don't find yourself, you make yourself (thanks for the insight Bare). I'm over the "who am I" part of my life. I learned who I was deep down not long after moving to Montana. I was happy w/ my life, but sometimes life gives you a good ole fashion kick in the guts. And sometimes it decides to kick you about 6 or 7 times all at once. While I may never know the answer to the great question "why?", there are some things I do know [now].
I do know that w/out this journey I may of never had the chance to go on a road trip w/ my momma, reached out to family I hadn't seen in years, spent a night out in the woods by myself, watched the sun rise over the city of Pittsburgh, met so many new people already (like Ben, Cory, & Brittany thanks to a chance encounter w/ a possibly ruffied Blow Pop), reconnected w/ old friends (like Karina, Gerald, & Boss), begun training for a 5k, a 10k, and an adventure race (& have lost 16 lbs already, woot!), started the 365 project, or jumped out of a plane.
Since the jump out of the plane was perfectly executed I live on to see the next part of this adventure; trips to DC & NYC to visit more friends, dance classes (who ever thought that I would take dance classes?!), and the planning and execution of a 20 state tour w/ Adam to see many new friends & places before finally recovering Britta & returning us all to the one place we can always call home, Missoula, Montana.

See you @ 6,000 miles...

p.s. call your mother in LA, she hasn't heard your voice in years...

Monday, August 30, 2010


     This week I celebrated another milestone in my life; I turned 24. Another year older, another year wiser. Well... maybe. ;-)

     To help me celebrate my birthday were two of my closest friends from PA, Karina & Fu. They flew in very late the night before to help me ring in the big two-four. We got up very early the next morning (my birthday!!) to hit up the Blackfoot River for a nice float in the sunshine. Shortly after getting home a bbq pursued at my house to celebrate not only my birthday, but my friend Marie's birthday since we share the day. Christopher decorated our kitchen w/ flowers. :-) Since our birthday fell on a Thursday we were lucky enough to also have Pub Trivia that night. They were awesome enough to decorate the games w/ pink flamingos for our birthday too!

     Thanks again to all my friends & family that sent presents & well wishes during my birthday. I am truly blessed to have so many amazing people in my life to help shape the woman I am today.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Family Vacation to Me

     My family just drove off a few hours ago. I already miss them. While they were here tho we all had an amazing trip that included a mini vacation in itself, birthday parties, water parks, carousels,  Big Dipper ice cream, shopping sprees, good food, great friends, lots and lots of driving, and so much more. We took lots of pictures & made even more memories.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Girls Trip to Jackson Hole

My parents & my brother & his family flew into town on Wednesday. Thursday morning the boys took off for a fishing trip while I took my mom, sister-in-law and neice & nephew down to Jackson Hole, WY for a girls only (minus Ben, but since he's not even one, he doesn't count) tri
We took off early Thursday morning, but when traveling with two little ones even the easiest of trips takes a little time. We finally made it to Jackson later that evening & checked into our motel.

After a good nights sleep, it was time to get out on the town as we only had 1 full day to spend in Jackson. After breakfast we toured the town for a little shopping. Next I took Emily to the Elk Conservatory Visitor Center to earn her Junior Blue Goose Ranger Badge (see a previous post of mine from back in November). She passed w/ flying colors and we were down the trail to play around in the Grand Teton National Park.
Lola had never been there so we spend a better part of our day walking and driving around to see the sights. For those of you that have never been there, you should definitely add Jackson & the Tetons to your to do list.
Emily was more than excited to see our first animal, a barely visible moose playing in the brush of the river. She exclaimed, "I saw it's belly aunt Holly!" She then proceeded to say we need to find at least 10 animals before we left the park to go back to our motel for the night.
After driving around for half the day we had only seen what counted up to be about 8 animals, elk, deer, birds, horses, cows, moose, squirrels, and even some barely visible bison. Our stomachs were grumbling so we decided to call it a day and head back towards town (and food!). In a distant field I could see what looked like a herd of something so I decided it was only a short trip down a road to see what they were. We were all glad I did.

The herd of Bison completely surrounded our car. Mom was having flashbacks on an earlier vacation & was trying to remain calm (remember that one Kristen?!). Lola & I were snapping pictures as the bison stared us down & tried to figure out what we were doing there. Emily was most concerned for their safety, as they didn't look both ways before crossing the road (cars were starting to pile up all around us at this point).  We stayed as long as we had to since they had our car surrounded & then took off for dinner.
Missing my seester so much I drug my family to a restaurant named Bubba's (a nickname for her step son, Jose Jr.) We wrapped up the night after a good meal, Lola & I did a little touring around town while momma gave the kiddos a bath & then everyone was off to bed.

When morning came we packed up the card & said our goodbyes to Jackson & the Tetons. It was time to tour Yellowstone.
Having two tiny travelers we had only time to stop at Old Faithful, the Middle Geysers, & the Painted Pots. If you have time to go to Yellowstone, these places are worth the stop. Finally we headed back to Missoula for the rest of their vacation, that's for another blog post tho...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Canis Major Dog Training

I have had a dog training company running part time since my graduation at National K-9. At the beginning of this month however I launched my company, Canis Major Dog Training, as a full time training business.

MANY, MANY thanks to the help of Christopher for designing the company's new logo (does the bust look like any familiar beauceron?) & Tj for designing the new website, A dog blog can also be found at as well. We're also on facebook, but sorry folks, no twitter yet.

Check out the new sites & come back often as we continue to build something better out of something already great!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Back in the spring Chris said he had never been to a professional football game & wanted to go to a Seattle Seahawks game this upcoming season. Not long after, Marc Mariani, the Grizzlies' star football was drafted to the Tennessee Titans (woot! woot!). After further review we discovered that the Titans played the Seahawks for the first game (pre-season) of the year @ Quest Field in Seattle. How could we say no?

My good friend Britta had moved to Seattle that very week so we went out & crashed on her livingroom floor. Thanks again Britta!!

I worked Friday morning so we took off early afternoon. The drive to Seattle is slightly boring, but there's nothing better than driving into a city like that at night when it's all lit up. We got up early Saturday to hit up the REI headquarters & do a little sightseeing around Seattle. I had never been to this city before so the guys were nice enough to go do some touristy things w/ me like the space needle, walk the piers, etc.
Roommate Kyle & friend Jerek had press passes onto the field so Chris found tickets on craigslist for us. He somehow managed to score club seating at an amazing deal. So now, not only did we have seats, but we had AMAZING seats too.
Mariani played an amazing first game in the NFL & we only look forward to watching him play in many more NFL games. (I also got to meet his mom by coincidence after the game!)