This week my friend Lynsay is celebrating a milestone birthday.
Lynsay and I met for the first time on a Stampin' Up! cruise where we both went to an afternoon tea on board the ship. Kim Williams and I attended the tea and noticed Lynsay and her husband Bruce who were first time Cruise attendees. We introduced ourselves to them and had an enjoyable tea time together. Kim and I felt good after we walked away thinking we had done a good deed reaching out to this sweet new demonstrator from Canada who probably didn't know a lot of people on board the ship.
It was a few months after that at a Stampin' Up! convention that Kim and I were at awards night together. As the awards were given out we saw our sweet new friend Lynsay march across the stage MULTIPLE times to receive many top demonstrator awards. Wow, not only was she sweet but incredibly talented and obviously a strong business woman. We were amazed at her accomplishments and regretted not asking HER more business questions at the tea!
Over the years Lynsay and I got to become close friends at Founder's Circle (a gathering of the top Stampin' Up! demonstrators) which was usually held in St. George, Utah. Before Lynsay attended Founder's Circle, when I was honored to attend this exclusive retreat, I would spend my free time shopping or by the pool.
However, after I met and got to know Lynsay and her friend Meg my life significantly changed as they invited me to go on the most amazing outdoor adventures that I have since hash tagged, #adventureswithmegandlynsay.
I remember on one of my first trips out with them they took me shopping for gear and at that time this was my idea of the perfect hiking boot.
Each year I would grow more passionate about the outdoors. I discovered that I LOVED rock climbing and couldn't wait for an opportunity to go. I would often go on more than one climbing trips while in St. George.
Lynsays adventurous spirit was contagious and I was hooked. Over the years we enjoyed many crazy experiences together in the great outdoors. It was fun to share these adventures not only with Lynsay but with Meg and Georgia and so many other amazing friends who joined in on the fun.
Last year was the final Founders Circle as Stampin' Up! was no longer going to host this event. I will never forget the fun we had hiking, climbing and scrambling that day. We even got to rappel off of an arch. The day was filled with fun and laughter until we realized that this was going to be the final time we might do this for awhile. We hugged on the mountain and the tears fell. In between sobs, I asked our guide Todd, "have you ever had a group of women crying out here like this before" and Todd replied, "well, usually if there's is crying it happens BEFORE the climb and not after". We all laughed and then I snapped this quick picture so we'd never forget this moment and the bond that we shared..
I left that trip not knowing when I'd get to see Lynsay again but was so excited to find out that she and her family would be coming to Maui. Derek and I flew over for a long weekend and we got to spend time with Lynsay and her family on that beautiful island.
Just a short time after that we traveled to the Meditteranean with Stampin Up! That was fun because it gave our husbands an opportunity to hang out and Lynsay's daughters quickly dubbed their friendship a "Bru-mance" because Derek and Bruce really seemed to enjoy each others company.
We had such a great time traveling through France, Italy and Spain together. It was a trip I will never forget where we made many memories to last a lifetime.
Working out on the ship together was great as Lynsay showed me her weight lifting routine and I did my best to follow her lead.
We also shared many adventures searching for Gelato and Espresso. We even jumped off a train together when we spotted one of our new favorite places for both of those treats.
It was while we were hanging out on the trip that Lynsay and Bruce invited us to accompany them on the Tour Du Mont Blanc. A hike that they were going on in July in France, Switzerland and Italy. It seemed like an impossibility at first but the more we talked about it and looked into it, it quickly became a reality.
Lynsay had explained the trip to me like this.... "it will be wonderful, you hike through alpine villages, eat 3 course french meals, enjoy sipping espressos in mountain huts and a luggage service carries your bags from hotel to hotel where you sleep". Just hanging out with them sounded fun but with all of that other stuff, it sounded amazing so we agreed to go. It wasn't until we got there that I started to realize what we had actually signed up for.
Here is how Wikipedia describes it.
The Tour du Mont Blanc or TMB is one of the most popular long-distance walks in Europe. It circles Mont Blanc, covering a distance of roughly 170 kilometres (110 mi) with 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) of ascent/descent and passes through parts of Switzerland, Italy and France.
It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. It was also the most rewarding and amazing thing I've done in my life. I can't even begin to write about it because was so magnificent. I'm sure as you follow my blog you'll hear me refer to this experience from time to time but for today let me just share a few of my favorite photos of time spent with Lynsay on this incredible adventure.
So as you can see, my life has become incredibly more adventurous and blessed since getting to know Lynsay and her family!
So to bless my adventurous friend on her milestone birthday I wanted to make something that would represent the great outdoors that she is so passionate about and has helped me to love.
Here is the card I made with her in mind.
This was made with the new set Always an Adventure that comes in a bundle with these awesome framelits that you can create snow capped mountains and beautiful forests. The words come from the set Cottage Greetings which also includes a Happy Birthday stamp that I used on the inside.
Since we just were hiking through the snow in the mountains I felt like this would be the perfect set to honor Lynsay on her special day and remind her of the fun adventures we've shared together.
I am so blessed to know her. Lynsay has been such an encouragement not just to me but to Derek too and we are eternally grateful to God for blessing our lives with amazing adventurous friends like Bruce and Lynsay.
Whether we are climbing to the HIGHEST heights
or discovering creative uses for the "Bidet" which made us laugh till we cried.
From eating victory chocolate on mountain tops to discovering that coffee is best when you drink it from a bowl.
Life with Lynsay is always an adventure and I can't wait till the next one!
Happy Birthday Lynsay, Thank you for being my inspiration in so many ways! I pray that your special day will be filled with laughter, fun and a whole lot of love.