Life is Better with F.R.I.E.N.D.S. 


One of my greatest gifts that God has given me is the gift of friendship! I have been blessed with many different friendships throughout my life. Some friends I have had for 20 years, some I’ve had for 20 minutes, but they all have a sweet spot in my heart. They all have influenced me to become the person I am today. 
I have discovered over the years the people who are daring, fearless, and adventurous make the best kind of friends. The friends that you experience life with are the people who shape your future. This is why high school friendships are so impactful! You go through a lot of life change in high school and you share those experiences with each other and it makes memories that last forever! You get your first car in high school, some of the students get their first job! In high school you start dating, so you share first love, first kisses, and other things (wink, wink). Some of us experience our first heartbreak in high school, whether it’s from a breakup, vicious bullies, or even loss of life! We rebel in high school, break rules and some of us will experience our first handcuffing. It’s definitely an adventurous time of life full of change and bonding. Some of those friendships will last forever, others will only be for a season, but all of them stay in our hearts. 

As we get older, it’s harder to find friends. We have more responsibility and it’s difficult to find time to nurture those relationships. It’s more important to have friends as adults because you will NEED them. You need good friends that will help you create a great life, encourage you to start that business, pray with you, help you raise your kids, and laugh with. When you find people willing to stand behind every crazy idea you have, you find your 2nd family. Only this family is the family you choose, not the family that’s assigned to you!    Real friendhips are developed through transparency. If you can just be honest and show people your passions, your weaknesses, and your strengths, and they still want to be around you… BOOM! You’ve got the real friends. Make time for them. Baby sit for them. Call them, and let them know they matter. Cherish them. Friends are so important! 

Your success in life has a lot to do with who you choose to hang around with. Choose people who will make your life memorable! 
Caitie Brown

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*Salt Creek Kayaking Trip*

Making memories with friends and family is priceless! When you look back on your life you won’t always remember the things you bought, but you will always remember the experiences You had. I got to experience the coolest kayaking trip not a lot of people will get to experience. Salt Creek is a beautiful canal in between Dripping Springs Lake and Lake Okmulgee. It’s about 3.5 miles long and has almost no current. It’s shaded with trees that cover the entire canal through parts of the creek. Its lined with beautiful rock formations and wild flowers. It has plenty of areas to pull off and eat, fish or just relax. 


You will be blown away at how quiet and serene the waters are! For a moment the water was so still it reflected the trees like a mirror. Salt Creek is Surrounded by Dripping Springs State Park, so there are plenty of camping areas, hiking trails, and swimming holes. 

In order to float the Creek you will need your own kayak, and there is no motorized boats allowed on the creek since it is not patrolled by the local park ranger, and you can get fined if you attempt to ride a jet ski or bass boat. It’s perfect for kayaking. 

There are 2 ways you can float the creek: one way or out and back. You can start at the dam and kayak to Hickory Point (Lake Okmulgee) leave a vehicle there to take out or you can Kayak out and back in. There is no current so it’s an easy out and back Trip. It’s about 4.5 miles from the dam to hickory point. 

LOCATION

Salt Creek is located on the east side of Dripping Springs dam. Instead of entering the park, continue down toward the lake’s dam on S 150 RD to the put-in at the base of the lake dam. The Put-in is not far down S 150 RD. look for a little circle pull-in opposite of a high grassy hill on the other side of the road. That grassy hill is the dam for Dripping Springs Lake.


Be sure to share this with your fellow Kayaking friends, and plan your trip today! Located just 45 minutes from Tulsa and 2 hours from Oklahoma City. A kayakers paradise awaits. Happy Paddling! 
Caitie Brown

Farmers Markets: Think Outside your Grocery Store

It’s that time of year again! Saturday Morning Farmers markets are in full swing, & not only is it important to your health, it’s important for your community as well. Farmers Markets are physical retail stores featuring foods produced by the farmer and sold directly to the consumer. This platform has sustained throughout history and has become increasingly popular since early 2000’s. Technology advancements and modern industrialization has made food growth faster, cheaper, & bigger! Therefore major retailers such as Walmart and Target provide 90% of Americans their food, and 60% of that food is processed. Families are eating out, instead of at the table, and our wellness is becoming less of a priority.

 Farmers Markets are a great asset to you, your community and your family! The food is fresh so not only is the flavor at its fullest so is the nutritional value. With local farmers, Seasonal produce is fun to enjoy in the season they were intended to flourish. Supporting local farmers is great for the economy and the environment. Shipping goods is quite expensive and can cause a strain on the environment. With farmers Markets the shipping costs are minimal and with each community holding their own Market, farmers are traveling less. It’s a win win for the farmer and the consumer! Also, Knowing where your food comes from is priceless. At the farmers Markets you can get answers from the source. It helps keep families engaged in what they are eating, and increasing your ability to make healthful choices when it comes to shopping. Sorry folks, Little Debbie hasn’t been seen at any of them farmers Markets I have been at. Start connecting with your community and start making your food choices a priority! Click here to find all your local Farmers Markets! 

Caitie Brown

Our EPIC Cross Country Road Trip

This week marks 1 year of the amazing Road Trip from Myrtle Beach, SC to Broken Arrow, Ok. It all started with a military family being reunited after 2 months, one way tickets and a road trip home. Camping out along the way, we saw  the beautiful ocean from Myrtle Beach, sweet breezes from Cape Fear, Moonshine sips in Tennessee, and the soul of Memphis. It will inspire you beyond your imagination. Traveling is the best way to find out who you are. It awakens the soul, expands our minds, and ignites the fire that burns a purpose in your life. Here is a little throw back to an amazing trip half way across the country.

STARTING POINT ~ Fort Jackson, SC

One of the largest military bases in the country is Fort Jackson, SC. Located just east of Columbia, SC and it is known for its basic training and drill sgt academy. About 45 minutes away is Sumter! Sumter is named after General Thomas Sumter from the American Revolutionary War. Sumter is rich in history and we were blessed to get to see the gravesites of the Generals family! 



Destination #2~Myrtle Beach

Just an hour and half drive east is the beautiful, over populated with tourism, Myrtle Beach.  You will get lost on the white sand & ocean air. This beach is definitely a different style compared to the south beaches,  & California beaches. It’s the ocean mixed with Kenny Chesney & Luke Bryan. It has that southern/down home feeling without any over the top pet snakes and alligators… this was my kinda place! The food was amazing and complete with zip lines , a ferries wheel, and bike rentals, there is something for everybody.  We camped out just 3 blocks away at the Myrtle Beach KOA. It came with a water park for Caidon, showers, and bathrooms plus shuttle service to and from the boardwalk! Highly recommend to everyone! 



Destination #3~Cape Fear (Wilmington, NC) 

The drive along the coast northbound was amazing! Seeing the historical plantation homes made me feel like I was in the making of “THE NOTEBOOK”. The artsy atmosphere in Wilmington and historical boat rides across the cape makes for the most romantic getaway! 



Destination # 3 ~ Ashville, NC

From ocean in the morning to Mountains by sunset!  I am partial to the mountains, but the Smokey Mountains are a sight to see! The beautiful haze over the valleys calls my name every time. The endless adventures throughout the rolling hills, and scenery for days, will make you wanna live life like there’s no tomorrow! 


After our beautiful drive through Smokey Mountain National Park we made our way into Tennessee. Just past the state line is a little town called Hartford, TN. It’s home to bootleggers Moonshine! You cannot go to Tennessee without getting homegrown moonshine, because it’s the only souvenir worth taking home. The greatest thing about this area are the people. Even though the scenery is breathtaking, and the adventures are unforgettable, it’s the people that make your experiences sweeter.


Destination # 4~Memphis, TN

After lunch in Nashville, we made our way into Memphis, TN. Home of Elvis Presley and the Blues! What shocked me most was how run down Memphis seemed to be. Vacant buildings everywhere, graffiti art on abandoned homes, homeless people on the bridges, and trash in the Ole Mississippi River. It was dark and desolate. Not the image I had in my mind. We set up camp at the Maron, AR KOA just 12 miles outside of Memphis. We met a musician who played electric guitar, & a factory worker staying there on the nights he worked to be closer so his bike commute wasn’t so long. The next morning we packed up and headed to Graceland! The Elvis Presley mansion & museum. The haunting home was left exactly as he left it. Shag carpet, dingy wallpaper, 70’s appliances and televisions. It was neat to literally walk into a completely different era.  He was truly the king of rock n roll. 

After 4 days of our adventure road trip we were finally just 6 hours from home! There is no place like home. Our family was ready to be home together after 2 months away from each other. The road trip was amazing! $700 plane tickets, $300 SUV rental, $250 for camping, and $120 in gas, we made it half way across the country with a 3 year old and didn’t die. Well worth it! Time traveling is never time wasted. Do it as often as you possibly can. 

Kayaking Bluff Landing~Broken Arrow, Ok

Getting on the water is one of the best feelings. Rivers hold a bit more adventure with all the different turns and currents. The rivers are what make Oklahoma unique, and if you live here you probably are within 30 miles of an incredible river!  Bluff Landing, located in Broken Arrow/ Coweta, is peaceful and serene!
 The first half our Kayak we paddled against the current which wasn’t that bad at all! We paddled for about a mile and headed into Adams Creek. Adams creek goes on for miles, but you can sit steady under Lone Star road and relax or eat lunch etc. Then you can head right back to Bluff Landing or continue on. It took us about an hour to get to Lone Star Bridge (it is out once it hits the creek), then we floated with the current all the way back! Its really an amazing place to Kayak! We saw plenty of snakes and turtles, plus the white cranes flew around us all day! 


We have been fortunate enough to be able to Kayak several places in NE Oklahoma, but this is just 15 minutes from the Heart of Broken Arrow, Ok, and is big enough to fill an entire day with adventure. There is a great boat dock, and ramp along with restrooms and camping grounds. The kids will have a blast on the water and have access to a playground. This is also a popular fishing hole where  gar, crappie, and catfish are caught on a regular basis. Come check out this hidden gem! 

First Overnight Hiking Trip – Good HIKER & Bad HIKER-  Review 

On May 5th, 6th and 7th we went on our first overnight backpacking trip in Gordonville, TX. Since this was our first backpacking trip with 2 children under the age of 6, we made plenty of mistakes along the way. Here are just a few reasons why we SUCK AT HIKING LIFE:

  1. We tried to penny pinch on Water Reservoirs… NOT A GOOD IDEA! We lost the majority of our water along our hike because of leaking from cheap valves that couldn’t stay shut. When we arrived at our remote camping spot with little to no water, and had to send 2 peeps back to the closest marina to retrieve enough water to last us that night and next day. Go with a good water reservoir that has been around for a while and has GREAT reviews.  Don’t be afraid to spend a little more because if you don’t have water, you’re in trouble. Check out this Best seller Here
  2. I needed a bigger backpack. I used a 50L that had 3 external straps, Brandon had a 70L bag with several external straps, & I ended up using his bag for a few of my items that didn’t fit on mine. It was fine for this trip, however, I do need to purchase a more efficient backpack.
  3. Packing a Hammock is essential. After we arrived at our remote camping area, relaxing was difficult because of the lack of comfortable seating. Packing a hammock, or hiking chair is a must after hiking 4-5 miles. Recovering properly is really important when hiking, so be sure you have something comfortable to relax in. My favorite Hammock  is now just $35. Check it out. 

Although we made some BIG rookie mistakes, we also did a lot of things right! We will definitely have a much more confident experience next backpacking trip. Here are a few things we did that made us winners!

  1. We packed plenty of food! The kids even had their favorite snacks and Capri suns so they weren’t miserable. We highly recommend the backpack pantry meals. They are light weight and pretty tasty. To see the full selection click the link Here
  2. Our tent was perfect. It’s a 3 man tent that actually was spacious. 2 adults, 1 child and a 35lb dog all fit with room to wiggle. The most efficient thing about our tent was it folded up and fit into its carrying case. Nice and compact! Click Here to get yours today.  
  3. We had the best APP for hiking. We actually took a wrong turn that led us to someone’s backyard… whoops! But the All Trails app allowed me to download a map prior to starting the Hike, so I didn’t need good service on my smartphone to pull up the map.  We knew exactly where we got off course and Knew where to go. 
  4. We had a backup plan to park a vehicle near one of the bailouts, which we ended up using! Good idea especially with inexperienced hikers or children. Saved us a lot of tears on day 2!
  5. We had fun. The best part about all of this is that we had a blast! Hiking with someone who had been there before was awesome. Spending time with good friends and getting to know their kids is something pretty special. We just let go and had fun! 

Overall the trail was amazing! Beautiful lake views, plenty of great camping spots, & it was clean! We will definitely be returning in the future. 

To see our adventures click the link below: 

Think Outside: Cross Timbers

~Dripping Springs Lake – Okmulgee, Ok~

A frustrating start to our day ended with a wonderful Kayak at Dripping Springs Lake! Massive flooding in Green Country makes for difficult kayak trips especially since we are not professionals. Haha 

Located in between Okmulgee Lake and Dripping Springs Lake is SALT CREEK! It begins at the bottom of DRIPPING SPRINGS dam, and flows into Okmulgee Lake. Surrounded by hundreds of trees, and peaceful waters it makes for a perfect kayak spot! Today though…. not so much. With both lakes overflowing with water, the creek was not only flooded but moving pretty quickly. Disappointed we followed the Road and kayaked the beautiful DRIPPING SPRINGS LAKE instead, but hope we can return when our Oklahoma weather slows down. 

It’s looks to be about a 1.5 mile float trip in between lakes. Our plan is to take 2 vehicles next time, so we don’t have to paddle upstream. We look forward to our next visit when we can actually get on the creek!

The water was fine and the weather was perfect! We love exploring new places and finding hidden paradises! 


Check back soon when we get to FLOAT SALT CREEK! 
CAITIE BROWN 

How Debt Freedom Created an Adventurous Life

We became debt free in December of 2015. We haven’t looked back since. Brandon and I have started a plumbing company this year with $0 business debt and recently paid cash for his first work van. It hasn’t been easy because the debt leverage option is always there.  You can use debt now and build your capital, pay 0% if you pay off your credit card every month, and EVERYBODY has a car payment. For us being debt free is more than just a goal we achieved, it’s a way of life. Since becoming debt free our stress level has decreased, our marriage has improved, and our lifestyle has changed! We are now doing things we’ve always wanted to do. It has been an adjustment. We aren’t used to being able to give big amounts, or plan vacations, have hobbies, etc. So we are having to practice giving ourselves permission to do things. I call it “Post Debt Stress Disorder“. You have had to say no to everything for a long period of time, & now you can start saying yes (within budget of course).

I have always loved going on adventures and being outdoors, however being broke because you’re in debt doesn’t allow much room for hobbies. Dreaming of being on lakes, kayaks, rivers, long hikes, and seeing the countryside was apart of my daily life growing up! When I became an adult and the real world hit me. I lost that adventurous girl because she was piled below bills, schoolwork, a mortgage, and parenting. After I graduated college I went straight to work. It was hard paying an extra $3,000 to $4,000 dollars a month on our debt. We had to say no to anniversary dinners, date nights, vacations, eating out, new cars ( we have a coupe, with a newborn…. OUCH! Still drive it with our 5 year old), and furniture. IT SUCKS paying off pdebt! Honestly when you are doing it, you constantly think to yourself “I am crazy, why am I doing this to myself?”

Now that we have been debt free for a while now, I see it so clearly! Now that adventurous girl the was trapped beneath all of the debt, is FREE! I am a better mom, better employee, better spouse, and a happier person. Seeing my husband thrive in his own business knowing he is stress free, setting his own hours, working for himself, and growing more and more is truly rewarding as a wife. He loves me enough to keep that adventurous girl alive by not going into debt for his business. I am forever grateful to him for that! He encourages the crazy chick, that wants to travel the country, climb the mountains, & walk in the wilderness. It’s the greatest time in our lives knowing that all of that pain and struggle we went through has given us the greatest reward!

When God called us to become debt free, we knew it would be difficult. We didn’t know how difficult until we started saying no to things we REALLY wanted to say YES to. We wanted to give up several times, and let other people’s opinion dictate how we lived our lives, but when God calls you, you listen. When we obey the Lord his rewards have been more than we could ever imagine. The freedom he has given us is beyond any words I have to describe this feeling. The dreams we are dreaming today are bigger and better. The adventures I’ve always wanted to go on, are no longer just in my dreams, they are coming true everyday! We are excited to be on this adventure, and even more excited that we get to document every moment.  STAY TUNED!

*If you want to start your own journey to financial freedom click here
Caitie Brown

Quality over Quantity (A letter to Caidon) 

Dear Caidon, 

I’m sorry. You will be 5 next month and I spent the first 4 years of your life getting it wrong! This is my promise to you & I may not always get it right (I’m not perfect), but I hope one day you will look back on our time as Mother and Son and smile. 


You were given to me on a June 8th, 2012 & you literally took my breath away. As a new mom I failed as most new moms do. I had postpartum depression, and was sad a lot when you were little. I was fixated on the littlest things that I now know don’t matter. I was always guilty for leaving you to go to school, and was constantly stressed when I was with you. It wasn’t easy and my anxiety caused from high expectations of myself took away from enjoying you to the fullest. I did enjoy you as a baby, but not as much as I could have. For that I am sorry. You will be 5 in one month, and I am happy to tell you that I QUIT! I quit letting my “perfection” take away from presence. 

Life is short and I promise to make the quality of our time together greater than the quantity. You see, I spent the first 4 years of your life spending the majority of our time together, but it wasn’t quality! I can spend 16 hours a day with you, but if I’m sad and stressed, you deserve better. So that’s a birthday promise to you from me. 

I promise to focus more on the quality of our time not quantity. I promise to laugh more, and laugh loudly! I promise to put my distractions away and make sure you know I’m listening to your crazy adventures! I promise to not stress about you making good grades, but focus more on you being a good person. I promise to read you stories. I promise to let your dad take me on dates so you can see how to treat your future bride. I promise to be brave so you can be courageous one day. I promise that I will do things I love so I can be a better mom to you. I promise to take you on the greatest adventures you have in mind! Above all, I promise to only look at the past happy I was fully present, and not wish I could back and do it differently. We are going to have one heck of a ride. Buckle up! 

Sincerely, 

Your Imperfect Mother 

Cross Timbers Overnight Hike – Lake Texoma – Video

​We just got back from our amazing trip at Cross Timbers Hiking Trail. Our full wrap up blog post including a detailed review of our experience coming soon! For now click the link below for a full video of our trip! 

Cross Timbers Hiking Trail (video)

Caitie Brown

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