Amanda Dorough | She's Paying It Off

The Story of My Journey to Debt Freedom, One Tiny Step at a Time

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Sweet, Sweet, Vacation

You guys, it had been years since I had a real honest to goodness vacation.  You know the type of week where you can just sit, relax, swim, basically do whatever you want to do without obligations.
And guys, boy was this vacation so sweet.
Honestly it couldn’t have come at a better time.  This past year has arguably been one of the most difficult of my life.  With Paramedic school and everything that comes along with it and then working 60+ hours a week on top of that.  Man I was tired.  So when my Dad called me in May asking if I’d want to come down to Washington for a week this summer and my parents would use their airmiles to get me there I was all about it.
I really lucked out too.  My parents rented a house on Long Lake, just outside of Spokane, and everything about it was perfect.  The house was adorable, the yard was huge (with fluffy grass!) and the water was the perfect temperature.
I spent the week doing what I’ve been dreaming of doing for a year, reading and swimming.  I polished of 3 books and started 2 more.  There’s just nothing like getting into a good book.  The location also had the added benefit of limited/no cell service (forget about data), so it was a completely unintentional social media fast.
The second night we were there we had a family bocce ball tournament.  Red team vs. Green team.  The stakes?  $50 and the ability to use it to choose whatever type of desert you want for the family.  Unfortunately my team didn’t win, but fortunately for me the team that did had good taste in desert.  Root beer floats the first night, then ice cream sundaes later in the week.  So good!
On our second to last day my cousin Andrea and her family who live in Coeur de Alene came over to visit and brought their families boat.  We had been watching the boats out on the lake and practically drooling all week so it was exciting to finally get out on the water!  Tubing is one of my favorite water activities.  The more extreme maneuvers the better!
I could have stayed there forever, sitting by the lake shore and reading my day, and roasting marshmallows and stargazing at night.  While my time at home was super sweet it was also way to short.  We literally drove back to Seattle and I was at the airport to fly back to Alaska just a couple hours later.
I have no idea when my next vacation will be, but if it’s half as good as this one was then I’ll definitely be blessed.


Enjoying the Moments

Out of the past 10 years since graduating from high school I’ve spent a grand total of 3 years at home.  Life has has taken me several different directions, from around the US to around the world.  I cherish every moment I’ve been given to have incredible experiences and see God’s incredible world, but even more now, I cherish the moments I’m able to spend with my family, since I’m far away for often than I’m near.

Because I will be leaving once again, for an undetermined amount of time as I pursue God’s leading in Bolivia I made a conscious decision the try to enjoy as many moments with my family this summer as I could.

While work, various obligations and day-camp have all taken us in many different directions this summer there’s nothing like a family vacation to bring us all together.  So two week ago my family packed up our two cars and headed to Lake Bonaparte in eastern Washington.

On the ride there my sister Emily, my niece Elaina and I drove in my mom’s SUV (while my parents were in my dad’s Camero convertible, jealous).  We cranked up some mixed CD’s and just enjoyed the ride, driving through a couple forest fires and making a pit-stop in Leavenworth along the way.


LeavenworthOur week at the lake was in one word, peaceful.  It was nearly silent, the only sound breaking up the stillness was the distant call of a Loon, or the occasional crunch of a car driving on gravel.



We stayed in a pretty rustic cabin.  We’re talking bunk beds, no kitchen, no running water and no personal bathroom.  But we made do and the perfect weather and crystal clear lake water made up for what the lodging lacked.

CabinLakeSquirrel We passed our time by reading (I finished 3 books…), swimming, playing card games and hiking.  I loved that we had literally NOTHING we had to do and I finally got the rest I needed so baldy since returning from the race.

GamesSwimmingFishingFamilyMy parents left a day early to drive up to BC to meet my dad’s cousins so Emily, Elaina and I decided to take the long way home, making a stop in the “Wild West” town of Winthrop and driving along one of my favorite roads, the North Cascades Highway.

WinthropWinthropNorth Cascades HighwayNorth Cascades HighwayNorth Cascades HighwayWhile my family didn’t spend every second in harmony, I wouldn’t have traded that week for the world, because I don’t know when I’ll get this again.  Maybe a couple months, maybe a year, or maybe more…

Now, as summer wraps up and the school year looms there will be less adventures but I have another one I’ll be sharing with you in the next few days!

So how about you?  Have you gotten to go on any family adventures this summer?