Thursday, December 5, 2013

Five on the fifth.

My sweet baby boy Cameron turns five today! It's absolutely mind blowing how fast time seems to go these days. I mean, I remember when he was a baby, thinking about things like him being in school and playing sports- and thinking that those things were so far away. Well, here we are! The days are long but the years are short, my friends.

I am completely honored and humbled that God has allowed me to be the mother to this boy. Through Cameron He has taught me patience, mercy, and kindness. To be loving when it's the hardest. To strive (though I fail) to be as Christ like as possible in my everyday life. And to teach this precious boy all of these things to the best of my ability.

People always comment on his great behavior and for that I am so proud of him. For the most part, he gets along and plays really well with his sister (they have their moments, though!). He is very much a typical boy- loud and obnoxious, etc... but he is very sweet, caring and loving. 

I am not good at writing things down that my kids say, but the other day Cameron and Kylie were building some "weapons/shooters" from a set of straws and connecters that Cam has. They came to attack me with these weapons that they made while I was doing some things in the kitchen and I pretended to fall on the ground. They piled on top of me and continued to strike me. As I pretended to cry, I asked them "do you guys not love me anymore? DO YOU GUYS WANT A NEW MOM?" 
Kylie yelled "YESSSS!" but Cameron said (feeling sad) "No, Mom! We love you JUST the way you are. You are as beautiful as an angel!" 

I feel like that is a true picture of his caring and loving personality- he is just such a sweet boy. These past five years have been so great and I can't wait to see what the next five bring! Happy Birthday, Cameron!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Colorado Vacation

This last weekend, we went on a road trip to Colorado! To say we had the best time is easily an understatement- I'm currently waiting for my husband to give me the green light to search for real estate there. =) I'm kidding, sort of, but man... I'd love to have a little vacation home in the mountains. I don't know what it is, but being in the mountains does something for me that I can't explain and I'm already thinking ahead to the next time we go!

So, back to the trip: we stayed in a small town called Fraser, just outside Winter Park at a little Bed & Breakfast called the Wild Horse Inn (which was amazing- more on that in a sec). We've traveled with the kids a number of times through the years, but have never taken a trip in the car longer than 4-5 hours so this 9-10 hour stuff had me a little scared. To my surprise, the kids ROCKED in the car (both ways) and it couldn't have gone better.

 This was the first time our kids got to see mountains (we went to Washington when Cam was 9 months, so he doesn't remember) and they were giddy with excitement as soon as we hit the Denver area. It was so snowy on the Pass between Denver and Winter Park, the kids couldn't wait to get out and play in it!

The Wild Horse Inn Bed and Breakfast we stayed at was so neat. The main lodge (above) had several rooms, a dining room for their daily amazing breakfasts, and a large living room with cozy couches and a giant fireplace. There were also 3 private cabins, one of which we stayed in. It was so perfect and I'd love to stay there again!

The first few minutes of the sunrise was quietly breathtaking- spiritual almost. This was also the view we had from our cabin every morning! 

Our first morning there we decided to do a bit of hiking. We found ourselves somewhere outside Winter Park in the National Forest- driving up into the mountains until our 4-wheel drive said "stop", and began hiking for about a mile and a half. Other than the sound of snow crunching beneath our boots, it was eerily quiet up there- there were no cars passing and no hikers that we saw. I knew that we'd end up in a bit of backcountry (knowing my husband) so I took along my tripod for a few photo ops. We were hoping to see some wildlife and even though we didn't, the hike was gorgeous and rewarding. 

One of the original reasons we went to Colorado was to attend the wedding of a longtime friend of Jon's. I don't have pictures of the ceremony (which was at the B&B we stayed at) but it was gorgeous, sunny, and warm(ish)- couldn't have been more perfect!

Sunday (our last day) we drove to Georgetown (about an hour from WP) to ride the Georgetown Loop Railroad. Back before we had kids (I was pregnant with Cameron, actually) we did the Narrow Gauge train ride that takes you from Durango to Silverton. It was one of the best experiences and we knew our kids would love to do it someday, so we thought the Georgetown ride would be perfect.

 Since it only covers 3 miles (an hour train ride) it was perfect for the kids- it was cold, and we sat in an open car. The kids loved it and I hope Cameron will have lasting memories of it!


After the train ride we just drove- the kids were champions in the car and we were able to experience so much by just driving. We stopped near Silverthorne because Jon spotted water and thought it would be fun to get out and check it out.

My husband grew up in the Pacific northwest and is a "mountain man" (his words, not mine), so needless to say, he is far more adventurous than I. The hike down to this reservoir was so incredibly narrow and steep I had to scoot down the path on my hands and feet (picture a crab here) to get there while he flawlessly and effortlessly carried the kids. But the pay-off, well... you can see just how beautiful it is. Had it been up to me we would not have attempted it. But here we played, looked for gold shiny rocks, and just explored like we were on a private island with no one else around for miles.

Mountains do something good for my soul in a way that beaches cannot.

In a lot of my photos I relied heavily on the self-timer, but I handed Cameron my camera for many shots and he does quite well! But once I give it to him, it's a fight to get it back. 

Since we've been back all I can think about is getting back there. I love making such precious memories with my crew and hope that we can continue to do so for many years to come! 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fall Happenings

It's hard to believe that the month of October is pretty much gone. Maybe it's from all my years working retail, but for me, after Halloween is over, it's Christmastime. I can remember working at the mall the week of Halloween and the back rooms of the stores I worked out were unboxing Christmas trees and all the trimmings to transform the store into a Christmas wonderland. For the record, I'm not one of those people who completely ignores the holiday in between, but I do tend to get panicky if I haven't started my Christmas shopping and preparations by the first few weeks in November.
My favorite time of year (Oct-Dec) goes by so fast and all I want to do is just savor the days. Here is a little peak at what we've been up to this fall!

Right before Cameron started school, we took a family vacation to Orlando. We had a great time, but BOY was it so hot- someday when we go back, we will pick a month other than August!

Jon and I are lucky to be able to go out on regular date nights, but it's also such a treat to be able to go on "family" dates. It may be just going to the pizza joint down the road, but the kids think it's so fun to come on "dates" with us. 

"Street art" by Cameron

I'm not sure what it is, but 99% of the time I pull out my camera to take a picture of my kids, they look directly AWAY from the camera the second I tell them to smile. Drives. me. batty. 

Our annual trek to the Kansas State Fair!

My bestie from college just got married and I was honored to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. It was such a beautiful wedding and amazing day!

Cameron has been absolutely loving school this year. A few weeks ago, he was star-of-the-week and among special privileges, he got to take his class pet, "mousie" home for the weekend. Behind him, you can see a snippet of a project we did- installing a flagstone path on the side of our house. I don't have a great picture of it now, but will share one soon! 

We love spending our Saturday mornings with Grandma. Here Cameron was trying to get her to ride scooters with him!

One of the reasons I love the holidays so much is that there are so many fun crafts to be made. In lieu of a fall wreath this year, Cameron and I made a little paper garland for the front door!

Yesterday we (along with about 25 people from our family) went to the pumpkin patch! Afterward, we hosted them all at our house for a chili feed, s'mores, and lots of fall treats. 

This picture needs a bit of work, but I love it. 

Kylie. And all her blonde hair. 
Also, she is so, so tall. Per our growth chart, she is already 3 inches taller than Cameron was on his 3rd birthday, and she doesn't turn 3 until January! 

I love my little family so much. 

Thanks for reading- I hope everyone is enjoying the fall season!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Cameron goes to school!

Not long after I started this blog, I found out I was pregnant with Cameron. It quickly became a place to document my pregnancy, life and adventures as a new mom. Also? I blogged a lot. Like several times a week. I took my camera everywhere and blogged about everything.  Five years and 2 kids later looks a bit different here- I've gone from a weekly blogger to a monthly blogger, and as of late, a seasonal blogger. I'm not ready to give up my little piece of the web yet- the archives of this blog are such a treasure to me and I want to keep adding to it whether it's 4 times a year or 4 times a month.

This last week, we had a pretty big milestone in our house- Cameron started school! He's had a great first week and I love hearing exactly what he did each day.

Yesterday, he came home and asked if we had baking soda in the house. I was puzzled by that question, but then he asked if we had "some water that wasn't water, but smelled like pickles".

"Vinegar?" I asked.
"YES!! Binegar!!" he said. "Do we have some?"
"We do."
"Ok, I need a tray, 2 cups, baking soda and binegar."  (he pronounces his "v's" like "b's")

He then showed us all at the dinner table the experiment they did in class that day, after reading a book about a mouse and a volcanic explosion.  He was so proud. And honestly? That moment was the best part of my day. I don't want to forget about stuff like that.

The last time I blogged I mentioned the bed I finished building him last year. I have always loved this Pottery Barn Kids bed and when it came to choosing a design, I knew this is the bed I wanted to build. Typically I get my plans from Ana White, but she didn't have these plans. I felt that since I had quite a bit of experience that I could draw up my own plans, and that's exactly what I did. I spent a bit of time drawing and measuring, studying the PBK version. I took measurements for a standard twin bed, and went from there. This bed is a result of some intensive thinking and math (which I am NOT good at) and I could not be happier with the end result- an identical bed to the one I loved from PBK.

I still need to build a pull out trundle (basically, a box on wheels) and I'll probably get to that this fall.

A lot of times when I build something, I save a bit of money (as opposed to buying a retail item) but that wasn't the case for this bed. It's solid oak which is one of the more pricier woods out there. I don't regret that decision because the grain on this bed is so gorgeous! And since it's oak, it will stand up to a few generations (hopefully!) of use.

I stained the bed myself but had it professionally finished (lacquered). When I picked up the bed from being finished, it took my breath away. It looked so amazing I could have cried. I honestly couldn't believe that it was something that I built!

Anyway, I have so much more to say after a summer of silence here, and maybe I will get to that, maybe not. =) Thanks to all who still read!

Monday, April 29, 2013

A weekend getaway.

Hello, there! It has been quite awhile!
Well friends, nearly two whole months have passed since I've sat down and typed a few words on the dusty ol' blog. Rather than rewinding and playing catch up, I'll just start by sharing a little weekend-vacation we just got back from.  Before I do that though, I will mention that I finished a big project on my list a few weeks ago- Cameron's twin bed- and it. is. awesome. I will be blogging about that in the coming days because it's way too good not to share (and show off!). 
So anyway, our vacation- we escaped to the beautiful, quiet, small town of Nebraska City. My Grandpa, Aunt and Uncle live there, so we took over their house for a few days and really had a great time. Internet was spotty- so I was completely unplugged from my fifth appendage (aka my iPad) and all my social network addictions. I needed that! 
While there, we drove up to Omaha to visit the Zoo. I've been there several times and of course, it did not disappoint! 

We spent Saturday in Nebraska City, and they had a lot of events going on for Arbor Day that weekend. Arbor Day was actually founded in Nebraska City, so it's no surprise that the city is covered in giant, beautiful trees. It's also home to the Arbor Day Farm, which is a totally rad nature/adventure park. 

There were so many fun things for the kids to do and play with! My one and only complaint was that I wished we had had more time (we were pushing through quickly to get to a parade) to do more of the nature walks and adventure ride. We also got a free tree (seedling) to take home with us. Jon and I are quite geeky about trees (we planted 11 trees at our old house and we've planted 12 at our current) and the outdoors so needless to say we enjoyed the Farm very much! I can't wait to go back.

We were able to catch the parade just in time. The parade had such a small-town "vibe" and the kids really loved it (and came home with a bag full of candy and little toys!). 

We also went to the Arbor Lodge State Park, of which I have many many memories from my teenage years.

We all had the best time- a little vacation is just what our family needed! 


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