Hi, ho, hi, ho, it’s off to Idaho!

Leaving Moses Lake, I attempted another 5k on the hotel dreadmill. This is what I was looking at as I was running:


Sadly those little signs did nothing to motivate nor energize me as this is as far as I got before it felt like I’d been on the thing for an eternity:



Have I mentioned I loathe treadmills? I managed to eek out a mile. I looked out the “gym” window to see my minions playing in the pool so I had to join them for a dip before heading out to Idaho.

We made it to my sister’s place (after stops for gas and essentials at Walmart). I was here two years ago when Eric was deployed. Since then, they’ve added a few animals to their family including some chickens, geese and pigs. It’s just as beautiful as I remembered it, but love that I was able to get Eric here to see it!

Looking up from the front of their cabin! Blue skies for days
Tall tales around the campfire!
This roasting of a marshmallow is serious business!
Don’t mind the white powder streaking his face…we may need to stage a marshmallow intervention! His love of chocolate is only surpassed by his love of a giant marshmallow!
Uncle Dan is the coolest! Jake’s head nearly exploded with excitement!
Sorry tournament of champions!

We swam in a water hole, rode quads, and spent a great couple of days with our family! Kirsti and i also got in our 5k! (We ran until we couldn’t talk anymore, then walked!)

The minions embracing the naked woods.
Yep, the outdoor kitchen area! Roof for a Keurig? GENIUS!
Pickin’ daisies!
Chickens, ducks, and geese, oh my!

As always, it was hard to say goodbye, and the reality of this move is finally starting to sink in. Basically a month of saying goodbyes is making a few of us emotional puddles of goo.

Heading into Montana, we had to stop and let the minions experience the wonder that is Cracker Barrel!

IMG_6619 IMG_6618


Montana is stunningly beautiful, as is Idaho, and if you’ve never been, you should. It is simply breathtaking. Long when you’re driving across it, but so worth it! Last night we stayed in a less-than-stellar motel so i don’t feel comfortable going for a solo run. Montana may be the state without a 5k, but the day isn’t over yet! Onward!


Holiday Hiatus

I “decided” to take a holiday hiatus. It wasn’t really planned, but just sort of happened! Now that the family has left and the after-Christmas calm is settling in, I thought I’d sneak in a post before I return to my unscheduled break.

This year we were fortunate to be able to spend Christmas with our whole family! This is a rare occurrence with us being a military family, and most of the “kids” grown and having kids of our own. This is 2 generations of cousins!


It was a great time with great food and lots of fun! I love enjoying the holidays through my kids’ perspectives. It’s all so new to them and watching them watch it all unfold is magic. The anticipation of the entire month nearly did Jacob in. He made it though, as did Hannah, and their holiday hopes were granted. And now it’s all over. (We say over because New Year’s eve isn’t the hoopla it was pre-kids. Let’s face it – we’re parents and if we stayed up for New Year’s eve, the 1st at our place would be a grouchy tired mess!)

While it was so much fun celebrating, is it weird that a part of me actually enjoys taking it all down, the quiet resolution of another holiday having past, and the breath of fresh air of getting things back to normal? Some find it sad to have it all over, even Hannah lamented she “hates that Christmas is over!” I don’t. I love Christmas, the build up and anticipation – all the festivus activities. But I really do love the calm and the return of normal routines!

With that return of normal, my husband just made my year! We stripped all the beds, did laundry like it was our job, shampooed carpets, Hannah scrubbed toilets, and my hubs scoured the kitchen – like pulled appliances out, vacuumed behind, took the burners off the stove, – you get the idea. It was deep spring cleaning in winter at my house. I helped a bit, taking down the tree, putting all the Christmas decorations away, purging the broken ornaments that couldn’t be glued together anymore, but mostly my other half did the work. Hannah and I fell asleep. For three hours.

When we woke up and came downstairs, I was delighted to see our house transformed: to the cleanest version of normal since we moved in! Perhaps it makes me a tad obsessive compulsive that a clean house excites me to the point of spending almost an entire post about it, but clean = calm and peace in my mind and spirit. I can think clearly, I can give freely, and enjoy my kids more fully when our home is in order.

I love Christmas. I love celebrating the season with my family. And I love the return of normal. What about you? Do you like the return of routine, or is it melancholy when it’s all over?

Hannah Is 2!!

Hannah turned 2 today!!!! We started the day by making cupcakes! My helpers were ready to go and in great moods!!


 We did spice cupcakes with cream cheese frosting!


 I just love their little smiles and laughs! We had such great fun and they laughed hilariously as I made faces at them and jumped around like a lunatic to get these adorable shots! I would gladly make a fool of myself to make them smile. I love them so much.


 I cherish the looks like this when they giggle with each other! LOVE!
Later Jake needed to “fix” my vacuum with his tools! He did a great job!
A bit of the decorations! We blew up 12 balloons – and all 12 were popped within an hour!


 Dog pile on Auntie!!!!


 Yummy bbq dinner with family! We did grilled corn on the cob, burgers, hot dogs and melon!! SO yummy!


 While we miss Eric so much (and important days like birthdays, anniversaries and holidays are so hard to be apart)  having family around definitely makes it bearable!)
 I love watching my kids get loved on by our family!



 Opening presents!


Sweet sweet girl!
And I couldn’t help but add this one of the kids’ cousins! We got fake mustaches for the goodie bags and they were a huge hit!! Love it!
We had a great day celebrating our little girl’s second birthday!
Happy Birthday sweet Hannah! We love you so much!

Idaho vacation!

Ah! There is nothing like a good get-away vacation! The kids and I joined my sister and her family for a week at their cabin in Idaho! So much fun!
Hannah is ready to ride!! Lucky for us – Uncle has some awesome quads!! My kids were in serious heaven!


Hannah and I headed out for a ride!
Jake and his Uncle!
Jake even let me join him for a ride!!


I chopped wood for the campfire!! Watch out! I’m pretty dangerous with an axe!


We discovered that Jacob gets wacky on chocolate and smores!!


Hannah has a sugar crash!


We visited this beach on a huge lake a couple of times! Pretty much the closest I could get us to Hawaii without a 5 hour plane ride! It was nice and hot too – we soaked up that warmth!
 We learned to play FLINGO!!! So fun! (When we weren’t whacking our sibling in the face with a golf ball!)
Hannah is ready to go!! She kept saying “Faster! Faster!” This girl seriously has no fear!


They played so hard – and slept harder!! Neither of them napped during the day because we were just outside fishing, playing, picking rocks, riding quads and having a blast!


Little miss! She is so cute it kills me!
Jake got his first tackle box, fishing pole, and fishing trip! I seriously wonder why I buy him toys when the tackle box, a 12 pack of bobbers and rocks kept him entertained for HOURS. Seriously.
 Tall tales around the fire!! So much fun!
 The newest face of Moka Joe Coffee! Hannah got ahold of an “almost” empty coffee cup and got some grounds on her face forming this ‘stache!!
It was such a great little get-away and for their first vacation that included a LOOOOONG drive and completely new surroundings – they did FANTASTIC!
Hooray for Idaho!
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