Travels to Italy!

Okay, okay…I haven’t even blogged about all our days in Scotland, and now here I am, talking about being in Italy! And by the way, I’ve been home from Italy for a couple weeks. Then again, I haven’t finished telling you about Scotland, and we’ve been home from that trip for 5 months! Obviously I am not too committed to being timely in my writing! Sorry about that! But to tell you about Italy…

It was AMAZING! This was my second time there. Both times I was very fortunate to travel to Italy on a Missions Team through my church. Both times were to serve a missionary there that our church supports, and our main job was to help prepare and cook Thanksgiving meals and teach in Italian schools, talking about the American Thanksgiving. They are just fascinated with our Thanksgiving, and the idea of sitting around a table together, giving thanks while eating a turkey that was prepared WHOLE in the oven is mind-blowing!

But you can hop over to my staciestoneycoaching blog to read more about the missions trip. And hear me go on and on about Luke, my 14 year old, that had the opportunity to go serve in Italy with me. Here at The Whiskey Lover’s Wife, today, I am going to briefly tell you about my two favorite places in Italy. Next time I talk about Italy, I’ll take you on a food tour (because my son really ate his way through the trip!)

No, there was no drinking on our missions trip, other than the complimentary Prosecco and Limoncello at a restaurant we went to. Someday, I would really love to go to Italy and do a Prosecco and wine tour. Perhaps someone would LOVE for me to write about it and give my recommendations, therefore financing my trip??? Any takers??? Hmmmm…ANYWAY…The Whiskey Lover’s Wife enjoyed

FLORENCE

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and

VENICE

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Having been to both of these cities before, I was once again captivated by the beauty, but this time, I enjoyed seeing both cities through my sons eyes. I was very sad that we only had three hours in Venice. There is SO MUCH to see and do! Same with Florence…I was sad that by the time we got there, the Duomo (the major cathedral and dome) had just closed for the evening! Luke, being the ever-so-resilient kid he is, said, “That’s okay mom! We’ll just have to come back on vacation!” Yes, Luke, AGREED!

My drink of choice while in Italy, was of course, cappuccino! I had one, or THREE!, daily! I even bought a Moka pot and the ever popular Mokador coffee to bring home to get my fix!

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And the last little bit of info I’ll give you today, is to tell you about my MOST FAVORITE CANDY EVER IN THE WHOLE WORLD! Pocket Coffee!!! Seriously, best invention EVER!pocketcoffee

So, that’s it for today. Pretty short and sweet. Really, you can call me a “tease”, I won’t be offended! I’m just giving you a quicky. Just enough to make you wanting to come back for the full meal deal, because you’ll be given a lot to enjoy, as long as you’re patient! haha!

Join me next time where I’ll either be telling you more details about Scotland, or Italy, or a Washington Distillery, or HECK, my latest trip to Total Wine and More! Regardless, you’ll be entertained!

Saluti!

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Adventures in Scotland- Day ONE

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At SEA-TAC airport, waiting our first flight to Philadelphia before our final destination to Glasgow, Scotland!

OH MY GOODNESS! What an amazing summer it has been so far, and it is only the beginning of August! Are you prepared for the Whiskey Lover’s Wife Blog to explode? Because now that we are done traveling (somewhat) until after school starts, I am prepared to flood you with “Adventures in Scotland” as well as adventures in Albuquerque, NM, Las Vegas, NV, and several amazing places in our beautiful Washington State! And I’ll be honest, many of these posts will, indeed, include talks about whiskey! But as I have explained in earlier posts, this is a family friendly adventure, and our boys are very interested in the history and science behind all the whiskey going-ons!

So, here we go!

Adventures in Scotland, DAY ONE!

We left on July 4th, out of Sea-Tac (Seattle, WA) airport! I was not too worried about the boys flying…I was more worried about The Whiskey Lover, who really doesn’t like the cramped feeling of flying in coach class! (But hey, flying with a family of four on our budget…yeah, coach class is perfect!) We made it to Philadelphia around 4pm and awaited our final flight to Glasgow, Scotland. You can see by the picture below that yes, there is MUCH “brotherly love” in Philly as I tried to get the boys to behave in the land of Rocky Balboa!

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We then got on the airplane, and off we went! We landed bright and early in the morning on July 5th in Glasgow, Scotland! And do you know what immediately impressed me? How nice everyone was! We went straight away to pick up our rental car and the computers were down. Normally, when I have dealt with customer service here in the States when computers were down, I have had to deal with overwhelmed employees and reassure THEM, even though I was the customer! However, in Scotland, I was impressed with the humor they had and how they completely bent-over backwards to make sure this would not dampen our beginnings of Holiday in Scotland! We soon got into our brand new Volvo V40, and while Josh was a bit nervous to drive (you know, the steering wheel is on the opposite side of the car, and they drive on the opposite side of the road than we do!), we were ready to go!

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So, what to do until we could check into our hotel? We checked out Loch Lammond, the largest Loch (lake) in Scotland, located not too far from Glasgow!IMG_0273

Then we thought, “Hey, let’s check out Stirling Castle!”

“Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s most historically important sites and was once a favoured residence of the Stewart kings and queens who held grand celebrations at the castle.

 

Just walking through Stirling itself was a beautiful adventure, and had we more time, we certainly would have loved to spend more time there! We walked through the cemeteries and took in the sites. And waited to see the Queen!

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The Tower of Bruce, across from Stirling Castle

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We climbed a big hill to see beautiful country side, the Castle, and the cemeteries!

 While waiting for the Queen to leave her luncheon at Stirling Castle, the boys got to meet, and listen to, the Royal Regiment Pipes and Drums, and take a picture with these young men that were there to serve the Queen.  (pay no mind to the clothing my boys are wearing, remember, we hadn’t checked into our hotel yet, and at this moment, we had been awake for 23 hours!)

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Then we saw her!!! Okay, okay, they is a horrible picture! I didn’t take a picture because I was so excited, took a video clip (that wouldn’t upload for WordPress!) and so this is what you get! (Luke took this picture of Queen Elizabeth as she was being driven out!) She had waved to people prior to getting into her car, I couldn’t believe how close we were, and I also couldn’t believe how tiny and cute she it! (You know, if it was President Trump, there is no way we could have been so close!)

After all that excitement, we decided to finally head to our hotel to check in. We stayed at Gleddoch Hotel Spa & Golf , Old Greenock Rd, Langbank, Scotland, PA14 6YE, United Kingdom800-491-6126 (visit their website here to learn more about this fabulous spa and golf resort! www.gleddoch.com) I actually found The Gleddoch on www.hotels.com! And yes, it was VERY VERY affordable! (it was $99 US per night! We were there two nights!)

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Our Room!

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View from the outdoor hot tub (go to the website to see the amazing indoor pool and spa area!)

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The Bar at the hotel where we ate our first completely fabulous Scottish dinner!

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As we walked up to the hotel, this is how we were greeted! It was beyond exciting and amazing to have a bagpiper welcome us to the hotel! We knew we were truly in Scotland! (We later found out that this particular hotel was booked daily for weddings and was one of the most popular wedding venues in the Glasgow areas…we saw weddings each day we were there!)

Our first official “real meal” in Scotland (okay, we ate at a McDonalds near Loch Lommond earlier that day, but can I really count that???!!!) was here at the Gleddoch in the bar. It was classy, cheaply priced, and ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! Luke and I both got the Fish and chips and I was delighted to find out that the fish they used was called Heke and was caught fresh daily in the river below! SOOOOO GOOOOOOOOD!!!!!!

We finally went to bed, already filled with so much love for Scotland after not even 24 hours there! We were ready to see what Day 2 would bring us! Come back tomorrow evening for “Adventures in Scotland-Day 2!”

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How this Green Drink Changed me in only 10 Days!

IMG_9452Warning! This post has absolutely NOTHING to do with Whiskey. Nada. Not. A. Thing.

So, with that in mind, I do hope you will continue to read on, because, well, the drink is green, I drank it for 10 days, and really, aren’t you just the wee bit curious?

Here’s the story: One day, while eating lunch with my two other PE/Health partner teachers, they were talking about “juicing” (as in, you know, actually taking vegetables and fruits, putting them in a juicing machine, and drinking the juice!) because they had seen something in regards to the film “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” by Joe Cross.  I had not, and still haven’t, seen this film, but from the sounds of it, this Joe Cross guy really made some changes with his health by going to an all juice diet for 60  days. Hearing my colleagues talk, I started thinking. I had been eating poorly the last few months, was feeling really tired, bloated, and blah, and above all, my body hurt. Like my joints just all ached. Especially my knees. Which isn’t too groovy when you are a PE teacher and a group fitness instructor in a gym! I thought, “Hmmm, I should give this juicing a try. I know I can do it for at least 10 days.” SO, that next day, I bought fruits and veggies and pulled out my hubby’s old juicing machine and set out to juice!

So, very excitedly the next morning, I pulled out the old juicer, got my vegetables cut up and ready, and turned on the machine. Nothing happened. I fiddled with the machine. Still nothing. I asked my hubby for help, since it was his machine. And after a few brief moments of frustration, and perhaps a bad word or two, he came to the conclusion that motor must have burned out. My enthusiasm could have died there, but instead I shrugged my shoulders and did what any good Whiskey Lovers Wife does…I hopped on my trusty Chromebook and started researching (okay, or SHOPPING!) I found the juicer Breville BJE430SIL Large-Capacity 70-oz. Cold Juice Fountain at Macy’s was EXACTLY what I needed! Isn’t she pretty?! Since the nearest Macy’s is about 30 minutes away, I purchased it online and picked it up in the store after school that day! Check it out on Macy’s online…I see it’s even on sale today!!! (Mind you, this is May of 2017~) https://www.macys.com/shop/product/breville-bje430sil-large-capacity-70-oz.-cold-juice-fountain?ID=2374147&CategoryID=7583#fn=sp%3D1%26spc%3D23%26ruleId%3D78|BS|BA%26slotId%3D5%26kws%3Djuicer

So, here we go! It’s Tuesday morning now, the vegetables are cut up, MY new juicer is clean, set up, and ready to go! I’ve got to tell you, I LOVE watching the veggies go through and get turned into the juice! The clean up after was easy. The start of my 10 day juice cleanse was officially started!

Day One- My first attempt at making the juice…well, I made WAAAAAAYYYYY too much! I wasn’t quite prepared for how much I needed, so I suppose I over-did it! And as a result, had my one and only overflow accident! haha! Overall though, I was so easy and my goodness, the juice  was delicious! I did use a bit too much ginger though! WHOA! My “recipe” on day one was: 3 granny smith apples, 2 cucumbers, 2 stalks of celery, a bunch of kale and spinach, and ginger. Isn’t it pretty? IMG_9446

Day Two– I felt no hunger pains on Day one, and I had enough juice for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, plus two smaller jars for “snacks”. Oh, my main jars were the 16oz Mason Jars (is that a pint???). So day two I tried adding carrots to the mix. Not too bad. It was sweet. But looked HORRIBLE! IMG_9447

Day Three- At this point, I stepped on the scale. Yes, I had weighed myself on Day One, and in two days, I lost three pounds! Nice! And in ONLY TWO DAYS, I felt more energetic and my knee joints felt great! On day three I added less carrot and more kale. And even less ginger, because I learned a LITTLE ginger goes a LONG way!IMG_9449

Day Four- Feeling AWESOME!!!!!! Down 5 pounds and boy oh boy, I feel GREAT at this point! Although, by the end of day four, I have to be very honest, I REALLY WANTED BACON! Why bacon? Why not?!!! Seriously though, I was feeling like I needed protein. But I was determined to stick to this juice cleanse for the whole 10 days. I will also tell you, as with any “cleanse”, yes, you will spend some time in your bathroom!!! But hey, if you’re a mommy like me, sometimes you look forward to some “private time!” haha!IMG_9452

Days Five-Ten–  Okay, starting on day 5, it got a bit rough. I really wanted to eat food!!! Other than craving meat, I didn’t crave sugar or anything else. I also didn’t have that “Hungry” feeling. I just really wanted some meat! I suppose, looking back, I could have had a protein shake and it probably would have done wonders! On Day 7, I had to teach a STRONG by Zumba class and then a Body Bootcamp class, back-to-back…I had no energy! I felt sapped. Usually I am the epitome of annoying, full of energy cheerleader (yes, even at 40 years old!) and on day 7, I just struggled to get through these two classes. By day 10, I was ready to introduce FOOD make to my body. And as much as I wanted a big ole greasy cheeseburger, I knew that would be SO WRONG, on so many levels, since I just cleansed my body for 10 days! So I was reasonable and had chicken breast and MMMMMMM, it tasted SOOOOOO good!

Overall, I did lose 12 pounds in 10 days. I did gain 5 pounds back in the two weeks after, but that was healthy, I think. I also felt LIGHTER and my joints still are not bothering me, which I found to be a win! I found my favorite recipe that I honestly can tell you, my body now CRAVES every morning! I now juice for breakfast, and many lunches, then eat a normal dinner and healthy snacks. And I have decided that once a month, I will do a FOUR DAY juice cleanse, because four days was easy and I felt the best!

More than that, I was reminded that I can do anything I set my mind to! Trust me, you can do that to! I’ll be YOUR personal cheerleader, if you want!!!

-Remember, with any change to diet, make sure to talk to your health provider!

My Favorite Recipe-

          Start with 4-5 leafs of Kale and a small bunch of spinach. Add 1 medium cucumber. Next, add 1 large Granny Smith apple, 1 large pear, half of a small lemon, and just a small amount of ginger!  CHEERS!

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Are you interested in learning more? Please feel free to contact me at anytime! I’d love to talk to you more about juicing, your favorite recipes, and just life in general!

My Kids and thier thoughts on Whiskey

I talk a lot about following your dreams and pursuing your passions. You have read that I fully support my husband and his journey of becoming one heck of an awesome Whiskey Master Taster. By now, you may be getting the sense that I look forward to planning trips for my entire family to enjoy while still allowing time for distillery tours and whiskey tastings. But have you every actually wondered, “What do those two boys ACTUALLY think of their parents and the whiskey???” (If you haven’t, I bet I just put it into your mind!)

A couple posts ago, I mentioned that I would discuss what my two boys think about their father becoming the “Whiskey Lover” and me writing as the “Whiskey Lovers Wife”, talking about their thoughts and feelings about whiskey (and alcohol.)

I strongly believe in transparency. I am an open book. And for better or for worse, that is how Josh and I parent. Open, honest, hiding nothing. I am not an expert parent. I am not perfect. I do have a lot of schooling that says I am knowledgeable in the areas of kids, teaching, counseling and coaching. But still, I can honestly tell you, Josh and I have had some major parenting fails. I hope and pray that Josh’s desire to educate others on whiskey is not going to end up as a parenting fail, or that my excitement to tie whiskey tastings into family vacations will not mentally scar my children!

So, what do Luke and Lane really think about the whiskey tastings?
kidandwhiskeyWell, you can see from this picture that they get the chance to play on some sort of technology (they were playing on a Minecraft app!) Really though, that doesn’t add to their thoughts one way or another.

First, let me back up a bit…around 6 years backing up! Our youngest was 3-ish, probably edging close to 4 years old. We live near Olympia, WA where, once upon a time, Olympia Beer was created and produced. Olympia Beer is no longer in Olympia (having been bought out and produced back east, thus losing it’s popularity) the big brewery building lays deserted, decrepit, and a constant reminder of what used to be. Slightly down the Deschutes River is the old brick original brewery. You can see it from the freeway, or by taking in the lovely sites at the Tumwater Falls park or Pioneer Park, both in Tumwater. Well, when our wee one was such the young age as mentioned above, he was at the parks with his grandparents (my parents) and he told them, “See that building over there? I’m going to buy it some day and make beer.” Here’s the weird thing…he didn’t know it had been a brewery. Also, while my hubby did try his hand at brewing beer as a hobby (yes, this was YEARS before he became a Whiskey Lover!), our little guy did not know anything about breweries! Crazy!

That little guy is now 9 years old. He still constantly talks about the brewery he is going to buy. We take him often to look at this building. olybeer

It is a beautiful building. And he has his business plan really laid out. Originally he was going to finance this dream by being a Seattle Seahawk football player first, but as he now realizes that is a long shot, and he is VERY talented in the world of Minecraft and all things technology, he figures he will go to college, get some sort of computer degree, be a YouTuber, AND find people that will loan him money to buy a brewery business and make his beer. Now that dad is quite knowledgeable in whiskey, our little guy said that by being a brewer, he can then distill. He also wants to have a restaurant in his brewery and says every Tuesday and Wednesday he will feed the homeless, but they aren’t allowed to drink any of his alcohol! Seriously, he has had this game plan for over half his little life now!

And the oldest child? He is into Agriculture and sees his future in Ag Engineering. He also had a long conversation with little brother on how he could be a business partner someday, ensuring the correct hops are found and purchased, that the barley, wheat, corn, etc for the beer and distilling were certified organic, and sourced locally. My boys have learned how many of the smaller distilleries we have visited sends the by product of the mash to nearby farms for their pigs and cattle to eat. Our oldest loved that and tells little brother that his services will be very useful with farm dealings. So, it sounds like this will become a family thing, someday!

As you can see, many dreams and passions are rolled into this Whiskey Loving adventure. Additionally, my kiddos have loved going on day trips, and longer trips, seeing new places, doing cool things in the towns and cities we visit. My oldest son would like everyone to know, “You must be responsible when you drink. But, you must be responsible with every thing you do. Don’t drink until you are legal. And never drink to get drunk, because then you act stupid and nobody likes a stupid person.” Preach it son!

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To Skamania, and Beyond!

IMG_9380   It’s Spring Break, and I have to confess, this year the Whiskey Lover husband and I were a bit selfish. Okay, a lot selfish. We took ourselves on a little get-a-way, which means our boys were not included on this trip! The little dude stayed with Grammie and Grandpa while the teen was with his dad, which meant, ahhhhhh, a night of child-free sleep, eating and drinking what we wanted, and quiet r&r sitting in a 21 and older hot tub at the beautiful Skamania Lodge! 

We made a last minute decision to do this little vacation just a week prior, and, being the budget savvy (some might even call me cheap) wife I am, I headed to Groupon and found an incredible deal for the Skamania Lodge! And booked it immediately. We enjoyed drinks at the River Rock lounge, went into the town of Skamania and ate a DELICIOUS dinner at the Red Bluff Tap House (while also watching the Final Four championship game, rooting for the Gonzaga Bulldogs!), then came back to the lodge to enjoy the hot tub and then relax in front of the fire place in our room. It was delightful! IMG_9383

Then we headed to Hood River, OR the next morning. I had never been to Hood River, and it was just short 30 minutes away. I was excited to taste some wine a the Cathedral FullSizeRender (4)Ridge Winery and boy, oh boy, oh boy! Their wine did NOT disappoint! It was sooooooo good!!! I particularly liked their Rusty Red Reserve (with the black Lab on the label!),  their Cab Franc, and their Riesling.

Then, it was off to the Hood River Distillers Inc. Oh WOW! Should you get the chance to take a trip and do a tasting there, you’ve GOT to do it. (And here’s a secret, I did not try any whiskey!!!) So, this Whiskey Lover’s Wife did not join in tasting whiskey with the hubby. NO, instead I tried the Pear Brandy, three different fruit liqueurs, and a Nordic peppermint spirit called Ullr. Oh my lanta, soooo good! Josh was impressed with the whiskey’s they carried, purchasing the McCarthy’s (from Clear Creek Distillery) Single Malt Whiskey. “McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt Whiskey is distilled in a Holstein pot still using one pass distillation, this premium, non-chill filtered product is then barrel-aged in air-dried Oregon oak barrels. The result is remarkably smooth for a 3-year-old whiskey.” I am going to assume that Josh will have something to say about the smokey peated flavor of this whiskey on his Whiskey Lover’s Blog.  He also purchased the Hood River Delicious Apple Brandy, because once it is gone, it’s gone! I had to have the Clear CreeIMG_9390k Raspberry liqueur (because it tasted like jam off a spoon! Oh my!!!!) and the Ullr. I told Josh I really loved the Ullr because it tastes like toothpaste, which kind of is totally true, but makes me giggle because when my sister and I were younger, she used to like drinking mouthwash! hahahaha! That’s the truth! I can’t even make that up! SO, I am willing to bet that my sister is going to love this!

To finish off our trip, we stopped by the Edgefield McMenamins in Troutdale, OR to try their whiskey from the distillery on that property. Josh purchased the Single Malt Hogshead Whiskey, and the barley for that whiskey comes from Vancouver, WA. While Josh enjoyed a distillery tour, I enjoyed this Pear Royale drink! I would love to tell you what was in it, IMG_9392because it tasted like a little sliced of heaven, but honestly, I have no idea. I just sat back, enjoyed the flavor and made small talk with the bartender! (I always tend to draw people into some great conversations, and I learned that this young man would be traveling to Japan soon and was excited for his upcoming adventure! Totally cool! I shared with him our plans for Scotland this summer, and we had a great little conversation about travel!) Soon, Josh was back from his tour and we were ready to go eat at the Black Rabbit restaurant on the property. We ate a lot of great food on this trip! And luckily, I have an amazing hubby who woke me up at 5am today to make me go lift weights with him since I was complaining that my pants were tight! You know, eating and drinking good things does come with a price!

During our little get-a-way, I was able to talk to Josh about all I had learned at my Saturday Gottman leader training on the “Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work”, and it was great to refresh our communication skills and engage in thoughtful and deep conversation. (If you’d like more info on that, or to talk with me about marriage coaching and learning the tools and techniques to have and maintain an awesome relationship, visit me at www.staciestoneycoaching.com)  What a wonderful two days spent re-connecting while also allowing for Josh to get his whiskey tasting on!

Oh, and our little dude said he didn’t really miss us at all because he had more fun at Grammie and Grandpa’s house…and he enjoyed his little get-a-way as well!!!

Thanks for reading this week’s adventure with the Whiskey Lover’s Wife!

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Becoming a Glenfiddich in Life

This week, I have had several opportunities to take a look at my life, where I am at and where I am going. And with that, looking at my husband’s life. It is hard, sometimes, not to compare my life to my husband’s life. I am a teacher, while he is a principal. While both in education, totally different jobs. I am an optimist, while he is cynical and a bit of a pessimist. Again, totally different. And this past week, I thought about how whiskey is a great way to symbolize our different paths in our lives.

Keep in mind, I am the WIFE to the Whiskey Lover, not the actual whiskey lover. If you do not agree with the choices of whiskey I used in reference to paths in life, well, to bad! I’m still learning about the finer points of whiskey! Ha Ha! So just read on!…

Here is what has transpired this past week, and I do apologize to keeping things a bit, well, vague, but it is only because I don’t want my whiskey lover husband to be upset at me using him so much as my example! Okay, this past week…

First I guess I should back up slightly and tell you that my husband has applied for a few positions in school administration, thus possibly leaving his current position. And before you ask, yes, he does love where he currently works, however it is over an hour drive away and it doesn’t make sense for us to move closer that way when the boys attend school here and I also work here. The schools that he has applied for are much closer in proximity, except for one, but that was for Leavenworth and if you continue to follow me, you will learn how much I absolutely, without a doubt, LOVE LEAVENWORTH, WA! 

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My goat friend at the Enzian Inn putting course in Leavenworth, WA

Second, within a span of a week, he got called to interview for 4 of the 6 jobs he applied for. Yes, Leavenworth being one of them. I was ecstatic, at first, at the possibility of moving to Leavenworth. But then as we truly processed what that would mean to move across the mountain pass, four hours away from Luke’s dad (I was married previously and Luke’s dad is a very good day and we have a great split parenting plan) and our family, plus the fact that the cost of living was greater than where we live, PLUS I wouldn’t actually have a job upon moving there…well, yeah, sadly, he decided to turn down that interview. Which left the other three. This is where it will get vague and maybe soon I will write a follow-up blog to let you know the outcome of the interviews. But for now, I’m going to get to the point of the blog!

You see, Josh frustrates me. A lot. As spouses may sometimes do. And this week has been full of emotion, anxiety, stress, elation, anger, peace, and oh, did I mention stress? And during one of the times I got really frustrated at the pessimism my dear husband seems to have born with, when I was really trying to praise him and raise him up, it dawned on me that I was actually happy that I didn’t have a husband who was bottom-shelf. I actually have a 26-year Glenfiddich husband.

In life, we can decide to be bottom shelf, like a Canadian R & R, or a comfortable Crown Royal that is middle of the road and safe, or we can be top shelf (or even locked behind glass as the most expensive and special) like a Glenfiddich aged Scotch that has worked hard and waited to become truly spectacular.

I mean no harm at those people who are happy with a Canadian R & R life. A bottle of Canadian R & R rich-rare-r-r-blended-canadian-whisky-canada-10370315here in the state of Washington is roughly $8.00. It is cheap. You don’t have to work hard to get your hands on a bottle of this. I’ve only tried R & R once or twice, way before being married to The Whiskey Lover, back in my “I’m not spending my hard-earned money on expensive alcohol, let’s just get drunk” college days, and I can honestly tell you, my only reaction was GROSS!!!!!!!!!! Like, beyond gross. I would tell you my honest thought, but alas, I am a lady, a nice Christian one at that, therefore I can not tell you what I really think of the stuff. But think about it, it is probably one of, if not the cheapest whiskey on the market. It’s not that great. It gives you a bad taste. And yet, some people have made choices in their lives to live that way.

Thinking more about my own life though, I realize that I have been more like a Crown Royal. 2015_1It’s smooth, it’s easy, it’s sweet, it goes well with many mixers (I think especially Pepsi, but that is just my opinion!) It makes me feel comfortable. At around $25 for a bottle, it’s definitely not expensive, but it’s not totally cheap. It’s easy to justify spending that money and enjoying it. My life, much like the Crown Royal, is easy and comfortable. I have a sweet job that I have been at for 17 years. I have fun, but if I’m being honest, I’m not pushed real hard, I never have to be out of my comfort zone, and I am able to change things up as I please, but never too much to disturb that comfortable taste of my life.

Looking at my husband though…he is like an aged Glenfiddich. glenfiddich-21-year-old-gran-reserva-single-malt-scotch-whisky-1I’d say at this point, a good 21 year Glenfiddich, which costs around $250, but I am sure I could venture to say he is close to a 28 year bottle which is closer to $600. (A 50 year is $40,000, and that is reserved for those completely remarkable people like Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King, Jr. and who ever else you would like to add to that list!) But back to my husband. He is an aged Glenfiddich because so many times in our marriage he has worked incredibly hard. Stepping out at a younger-than-most age to go into school administration, leaving his comfortable job. Then, after a year, being told he was the victim of “you’re the low man on the totem pole so you are the first to go”, found failure 27 times. And that summer, even though is was full of sunshine outside, in our home there was darkness. Any man that can be without a job and hear 27 times”You are great, but we went with the other person”, and having that sense of pride that you are the husband, the father, the provider for the family…well, I’m sure you can imagine how much strength it took to walk into that next interview. Which he got. And has had opportunity after opportunity to grow, get stronger, aging to near perfection in his abilities as a school  administrator. He has had to rise up against so many challenges in this small school position, yet has done so with a fine grace far superior to his younger age. He continues to get stronger, becoming something (and someone) that is high quality, unforgettable, and exactly the added “a-ha, that is just what was needed” special-ness that only a man that has refined himself professionally, personally, and spiritually can provide. To me, that is like a fine aged Scotch. I didn’t think I ever needed to try a Scotch, until I finally did, and then, with a sigh of completeness, I understood what perfection tasted like. I feel I am married to a man that exemplifies that.

Of course, my husband is far from “finished”. He is still aging in the barrel, so to speak. Tuesday we will find out what God’s plans are for him, and our family. He may hear his 30th NO. Or as I say, “Not Yet.” Perhaps he will stay where he is. Perhaps he will continue to age elsewhere, adding new notes of flavor to his life. Only our Good Lord knows. But rest assured, he is living his life to the most Top Shelf. And he has inspired me to venture out of my comfort zone. Perhaps I will actually face my fears and finalize my counseling license and move into a new career path. The middle of the shelf may be safe, but the ones who are on the top shelf are just a bit more special, and that’s just the way I see it.

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Running and Whiskey Weekend Warriors

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Once upon a time (let’s say it was 5 years ago), there was this beautiful Queen, (let’s call her Stacie), who one day was angry with her husband (let’s just, for the sake of this story, call him Josh!) so she went outside for a run. This beautiful, amazing Queen actually wasn’t much of a runner, even though she was a PE teacher, (yeah, yeah, I KNOW!!!), but after running her angry off, which really only took about two miles or so, she realized, “Huh, that was actually not so bad!” And thus, this mild like for running began.

Fast forward two years (that would be THREE years ago, if you want to keep track!), and the totally motivated mommy, wife, QUEEN learned about a cool sounding race in Seattle called the Hot Chocolate 5k/15k Run. And truly, if you really want to know the truth, it was the Goodie Bag of an awesome looking sweatshirt and tons of chocolate fondue that really enticed the Queen! But sadly, that year she was already committed to something else on the same date as the run. The next year, same thing! This run was still calling to her…so in October 2016, the super smart and ever-so-budget savvy Queen signed up for this Hot Chocolate 5k/15k race, knowing that there would be nothing on the calendar yet for March 5, 2017 AND hey, it was a discounted price since she was signing up for the early bird special! So…what does that have to do with The Whiskey Lovers Wife???? Well, keep your Nike’s on, we are getting there!

So, with the run approaching, this thoughtful Queen decided it would be a marvelous idea to invite her family (the King and her two Prince Charming sons!) to join her on a weekend adventure to Seattle. Also, the two young Princes both have birthdays in March, so it would be a great way to spend some family time and do an early mini-celebration. PLUS, the King really wanted to go to the Copperworks Distillery, since the last time the King and Queen went on a distillery tour, we (I mean them, the King and Queen), couldn’t quite figure out what the GPS was trying to navigate so they gave up and headed to Woodinville! (After visiting Westland Distillery, Letterpress Distillery, and 2-Bar in downtown Seattle!)

The weather in Seattle was perfect for our quest. The rain held out, it wasn’t too cold, and there was plenty to see and do for the two Prince Charming’s, like ride the monorail, check out Pike’s Place Market, get grossed out by the gum wall, and eat at Ivarsgumwallpikesplace

The King was beyond over-joyed to find the CopperWorks Distillery. To read his review and experience on CopperWorks, please check out his blog today at The Whiskey Lover! copperworksIt is really an enjoyable piece to read, chock full of a thorough description of his tasting and thoughts. And THAT, my darling readers, is how whiskey is relevant to a weekend of running! But wait! I’m not down with the story yet! You see, while the Queen (or, yep, you’ve guessed it, ME, the WHISKEY LOVER’S WIFE!) was really gearing up to run in the Hot Chocolate race, there was always the thought of whiskey and family time! If you can kill two birds with one stone, why wouldn’t you? (seriously, I wish there were a different idiom I could use. I feel REALLY bad for thinking about killing birds…unless they are crows, because they creep me out.)

The Hot Chocolate 5k/15k Run was a lot of fun, and I felt pretty good about my time. Despite being sick with a head cold and having had a pulled calve muscle the past week, I ran the 5k in 39.12 minutes.

Just over 12 minutes a mile, especially when I didn’t have the forethought to train for hills or inclines…sure, I’ll take it! I’d have to say, all in all, we had a pretty great weekend. And now my hubby has some  CopperWorks single malt whiskey to sip on, I have a kick-a…um, butt new sweatshirt that proves I ran today, AND the boys got tons of candy when boarding the monorail for the return trip to the Seattle Center and TONS of new memories were made! And isn’t that what it’s all about?!

***Side note, the Queen was really looking forward to going up into the Ivory Tower (The Space Needle) as she had promised the Prince Charming’s they would embark upon that landmark this time in the land of Seattle. However, the youngest dear Prince succumbed to his fear of heights and dare I say, FREAKED OUT, so with the great motto of “all for one and one for all”, this entire royal family opted to move past it. Maybe next time…

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Happy Life, Happy…

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How do you finish the above? I am sure you have heard it as Happy Life, Happy Wife, right??? Well, today I would like to talk about happiness. What is it that makes us happy? As a Whiskey Lovers Wife, I can tell you that it is not the actual WHISKEY that makes my husband happy (although it certainly does help!) For him, it is all that goes into the making, tasting, and drinking of the whiskey. I have learned it is quite complicated to explain why this makes him so happy, but it does.

Now, here is where I get to tell you that when my husband is happy, I AM HAPPY. But, I am pretty positive that he would say that when I am happy, HE IS HAPPY. Marriage- it’s a giving and sharing and giving back. I might venture out to say that since my husband has become a WHISKEY LOVER, it has strengthened our marriage!

I explained in my first post that I am truly a wine girl. I love wine. However, I have started to really appreciate tasting whiskey. Why? Because it is something I have learned while spending time with my husband. Because I already have knowledge of how different alcohols are made/produced (once upon a time, I was the valedictorian of my Seattle Bartending Academy class of a long time ago and bar tended for a short time in college, but to hear the rest of this story, you’d have to have drinks with us first!), therefore able to have a better understanding of terms my husband talks about, thus creating more avenues of conversations for us. As a married couple who both work full time in education, have two kids, and very busy lives, sometimes it’s hard to just find the time to sit and enjoy a quiet conversation with one another. Whiskey, though, as provided this.whiskey

As a couple, we have gone to distilleries together, we have done a little weekend vacation where the kids stayed with the grandparents while we enjoyed a couple days exploring and learning about new distilleries and types of whiskeys. And as a family, we have a few more day trips around our beautiful state and now this summer we will take a family trip to Scotland! So you see, whiskey really is a tool that is creating memorable experiences for our whole family.  (Watch for a blog in two weeks that discusses smart parenting practices to teach and demonstrate responsible alcohol consumption and use. I will be sharing exactly what are boys perspective is on all this.) 

My husband is happy. He has found a hobby he is passionate about. And more than that, it is something he feels capable about, knowledgeable, and able to share with others. And that is important. In the past, he picked up beer brewing and wood-crafting as hobbies, and while he did well, (and we acquired lots of equipment so he can always go back to those things, and at times he tinkers with them still. It’s good to know how to do a variety of things!), the fact of the matter is, he was missing something. I think it was the feeling of being able to involve others. I never helped him make beer, and my role with wood-working was to pretty it up after something was created. But it wasn’t done TOGETHER. sunshinewhiskeyHe needed me to really know the details about HIM. (To read about that, please go here!) With whiskey, my husband is able to share himself- his excitement, passion, know-how- with me and create opportunities for closeness.

Happy Life, Happy. Period. 

To learn more about building strong marriages, check out StacieStoneyCoaching.com. No, whiskey drinking will not be encouraged, but learning what your are passionate about and how to work together as a team and learn from one another will be the focus! After all, that is where The Whiskey Lovers Wife really is coming from!

 

 

 

Learning to love Whiskey

Hi! I’m Stacie. I’m The Whiskey Lovers Wife. And this is my first blog entry here, but you may have met me before as mrspageantmommy or at my business StacieStoneyCoaching. 

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You can read more about me on the About the Wife page. Today, I am going to share with you my experience of going from a Wine Girl to a Whiskey Lovers Wife, and how I am learning to love the fine art of whiskey tastings.

It all started a little over 6 months ago when I begged my husband to go to Las Vegas with me, as we hadn’t been there for a couple years and I really do love the sights and sounds and SUN in Vegas! Both my husband (his name is Josh) and I are not big gamblers, and we are actually a bit on the cheap side. So, as any good deal hunting gal does, I scoured the internet for all the free things we could do while in Vegas AND found some great Groupon’s to use, like the Eiffel Tower Experience. One of the free things I found was a Whiskey Tasting Class offered in the Venetian Hotel at a place called Vom Fass. Visit their website here!  

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Outside of the Venetian in Las Vegas. At 107 degrees, even the phone was sweating!

Well, that is where it all began. Josh and I learned some basics about whiskey and how to taste. We were given historical background and geographical knowledge as to why the Scotch (whiskey from Scotland!) tasted so different dependent on the area of Scotland it was made, that Bourbon can only be from America (originally it could only be called Bourbon if it came from Bourbon County, Kentucky!), and what kinds of grains are used in each type of whiskey. Josh was hooked. He loves learning and the content captured him. Then there was the tasting. 

I can tell you, I don’t remember learning about the art of nosing, but I do remember being told to breathe out my nose to let the alcohol be released so I could actually TASTE the flavors of the whiskey. While my husband did this like a trained professional, I felt my nose hairs burn and I could barely swallow the vile stuff in my mouth. From that moment on, I was done with whiskey and I gave all my tastings to Josh. (No, he didn’t complain!)

Now, I have to be perfectly honest with you. I love wine. Like really love it. I appreciate the way it is made, from the grapes lovingly grown and harvested right down to the way the wine is bottled and marketed. I dream of working for a winery because I whole-heatedly love the product so much, I could get anyone excited about it. And I realize, that is how my husband feels about whiskey.

Through the past 6 months, I have encouraged this new passion of Josh’s. After all, I AM a Life Coach who specializes in helping others pursue their purpose in life! What kind of wife would I be if I did not do that for Josh? So, we have done several distillery tours in downtown Seattle,

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At the Westland Distillery in Seattle

in Woodinville, and nearby in our more local areas of Olympia and Tenino (all in Washington State.) Stick with me long enough and I’ll talk to you all about these different distilleries and what I have learned along the way. I am SO encouraging, in fact, that recently I booked our family trip this summer to travel through Scotland! The original plan was always to take my oldest son, who is an 8th grader this year, to Scotland when he graduates high-school as his last name and father’s family (I was married previously) is Scottish. Now I suppose Luke will be the luckiest kid in town to travel to the UK for his 8th grade graduation!  Our youngest son is in the 3rd grade and has already decided that we should live there! 

The past weekend was a Meet-Up that Josh belongs to, called the Capitol Scotch and Whiskey Club, where they paired dark chocolates with whiskeys. I decided to go along because of the promise there would be wine for those who did not want to try the whiskey. Once we got there, I decided to be brave and do the tasting. After all, Josh has had me tasting much of his collection at home and I felt somewhat confident that I would no longer burn out my nose hairs! 

Let’s just say, I think I like this whiskey stuff. Like, really like it. Don’t take me wrong, wine still has my heart, but I am understanding why Josh enjoys tasting whiskey so much. One thing I have realized is that when one tastes whiskey, it is not to throw it back and get drunk. In fact, Josh takes a really long time (an hour sometimes) to finish a dram. When I open a bottle of wine, I seem to go through it a LOT quicker than what Josh goes through whiskey. He really takes the time to savor it.

So, with all that being said, I really hope you will follow along as this Whiskey Lovers Wife takes you on a journey of all things whiskey, and many things NOT related to whiskey but more about family, marriage, and even my version of a whiskey workout! Stay tuned, my friends! 

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Stacie and Josh at Woodinville Whiskey