We celebrate Halloween big around here. It starts the week before and does not stop until November 1st. It commences with an adult only party that my friend, Kelsey, has hosted for years. The adults get creative, crazy and pretend like we are twenty-somethings for one evening a year. Lots of mischief and inappropriate behavior ensue. Continue reading
The cool morning turned hot and the kids ran in what seemed like circles pummeling questions at me not allowing time for my answers before they fired off the next one. We were trying to get out of the house for 24 hours to celebrate 15 years of marriage with a little quiet and togetherness. Grammy and Grandpa were in town and Carla our awesome babysitter was also on duty. I am always anxious before leaving the house. Even if we are just going to dinner, it is always so hard for me to leave. Darren always reassures me that they will survive without us and that our caretakers are completely competent. I know all these things, but leaving on any level gives me anxiety. I don’t even like leaving the animals so the three kids are tough for me. Continue reading
Did I mention that it is a magical place, Santa Teresa? And part of its magic comes from the allure of riding the waves of its pristine beaches. We wanted to experience just a little bit of Santa Teresa’s surfing culture and being that we were a group of 6 inexperienced surfing parents with 8 inexperienced surfing children, we thought it best to start off our surfing adventure with a lesson. Continue reading
“There was a mouse! It ran from the kitchen over there, ” Liam said as we were unloading luggage and groceries into our little bungalow for the second part of our adventure on the The Big Island. “No way,” I said in total disbelief. And really I did not believe him until I saw several others over the next 24 hours with my own eyes. Continue reading
We live in a hood where people are constantly running through our house, big people, little people all sorts of people. We like people. My kids will send me over the edge with the constant play date requests and sometimes the play dates just show up, request or no request. There is always an event to attend. We have to consciously declare that it is a family day to alert the kids that it will be just us for the afternoon or the evening. It is usually met with a drawn out, but whyyyyy??!! Continue reading
Susan’s bathing suited butt went screaming down the driveway with a rooster taking flight behind her. Her speed was impressive. Honestly, I didn’t know she had it in her. My 11-year-old sinister sister-self did not really feel badly for my sister. I was more worried about the tale that she would tell at the dinner table that would more securely seal the fate of my rooster, Charlie. He was an innocent and I was his protector. No matter how much I reasoned with him and his brother they continued to chase and scare the family, guests, everyone – except for me. Continue reading
Summer Family Adventure Part 2
It was on our way from Ruth’s to Jackson that we decided we would break up the trip and stop at Yellowstone Under Canvas. We were kind of skeptical about this whole set up, but also curious so we decided to give it a shot. It is essentially a camp of safari tents and teepees along the Madison River near West Yellowstone. The setting is magical and the only thing that would have made it better was if we were totally alone, but then we would not have benefited from the teepee bathroom with which it came. I have never been to Africa on safari, but I imagined that these accommodations might be similar and Earnest Hemingway’s The Snows of Kilimanjaro kept coming to mind.
It was a simple day of swimming in the river, playing board games, not a lot of sibling infighting and minimal whining. It was kind of like heaven really. Just us being a family without any outside stress to mess it up. No agenda, no plan, no schedule and it just worked. It topped off my cowgirl morning so perfectly that it was absolutely my most favorite day of summer 2014.
The kids tried to claim our bed upon arrival.
Rinsing off the river in the teepee shower.
I was kind of sad to leave this unique setting, but Jackson here we come.
The Tetons. I have been graced by their presence so many times, but they still take my breath away. I always imagine being a Native American living amongst the wildness of it all trying not to get eaten by a grizzly while fishing for my dinner. The peaks of the Tetons resemble a child like drawing of a mountain range very specific and annunciated among the rolling landscape. When they come into view they always remind me to focus on the big stuff and let the small stuff float away and while making me feel lucky that I get to be inspired by their beauty.
The Idaho side of the Tetons.
Our plan was to camp with Darren’s best bud from high school and his wife. The first night we spent in Grand Teton National Park. I could not figure out why people were not standing in line for these campsites. This was our view.
Morning at Camp in Grand Teton National Park. My big girl clearly needs a big girl chair. We used it not too long ago and it was not until this trip that it was clear she no longer fit in the little kid camp chair.
Buffalo in Grand Teton National Park.
Top of Rendezvous Mountain. We road the tram to the top.
The next two nights we spent at Teton-Bridger National Forrest. It was so lovely and off the beaten path.
Our lovely friends that put up with our family chaos and showed us the ropes.
Bacon on the Wilson Grill.
Our departure on a rainy morning. There is nothing more soggy than breaking down camp in the rain.