Mount St. Helens

In case you haven’t heard it before, weekend adventures here in the PNW are my infinite staycations of escape with timeless memories I get to make with my family. This week in the PNW wonderland tour, we headed southeast to the general direction of Mount St. Helens with no real planned destination. Our day started off cloudy *enter shock here* as we landed our first stop at the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center at Silver Lake. I’d seen some gorgeous panoramic views of the mountain from other Instagram users I follow from this location so I was eager to get my photographic geek on.🤓📸 Sadly, the mountain was not in view so we grabbed a park map and headed further east to the Johnston Ridge Observatory. It was only about a 45+ minute drive along some state road, but with beautiful views of the once bare valley and other little pull-offs and viewpoints along the way.

The views at the top were so pretty…it took us, like, 15 minutes just to get out of the parking lot! It was so peaceful and picturesque I didn’t want to leave! I mean, even just the wild flowers in bloom during summer were enough to fill my creative cup. But, alas, we did just drive 1.5 hours to see even more from ol’ Helen.
There was a small fee for adults, but because we are military we get free entry to all National Parks…it’s a park perk if you will. 😉 The gift shop/observatory was really nice inside with interactive maps and diagrams throughout. They even have a movie theater where they play a short film on the history of Mt St Helens and the astonishing resilience of nature after she erupted in 1980. *This just in: according to Wiki the Mt St Helens’ eruption was the most deadly and economically destructive volcanic eruption in US history.* Who knew you’d be hit with historical facts on LtL?? For those of you that know me, you can close your mouth now…😧

Ok, that’s enough education for the day…now, please scroll through and enjoy some pics!

 

 

 

 

^^^ I spy with my little eye…👀

 

💙💙💙

^^^ There she is, playing peekaboo

 

 

 

 

 

 

^^^ Caption this: I’m the king of the worldddd!

 

 

 

^^^ There were (squirrel-sized) chipmunks running all around, so to keep B entertained a bit longer we told him to call for them along the trail. This is him calling “Helloooo, Chipmunkss!” More accurately heard as “hewooo ????”

This is the ledge outside the observatory with indescribable panoramic views of Mt St Helens, trails, mountain ranges, and rivers…all of this greenery sprung from hundreds of square miles of thick ash. The fortitude of nature after seemingly zero chance of life is giving me all kinds of symbolism over here, y’all…

“By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” Hebrews 11:3

I hope y’all enjoyed our day trip to Mt. St. Helens! Geoff and I both agreed another trip is in order before we leave when she is out and about, shining bright for her viewers to admire.

Happy weekend all!❤️

Lemons to Love,

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Titlow Park

In my last post I shared with y’all a few different stops along the PNW wonderland tour during the 4th of July weekend! Today’s post is from our outing to Titlow Park up in the North Tacoma area. This is one of my favorite splash parks in the South Sound area! Y’all may remember it from this post when I met a girlfriend and her two littles up there for the day. We didn’t play in the splash park during this trip, but instead we explored the shore lines of the beach — AKA Rock Mecca for Brooks. We took a lunch picnic and made our voyage out to the beach. I’d never really explored much past the dock, so it came as a welcomed surprise that the beach actually extended pretty far with a better view of the Narrows Bridge.

It turned out to be a beautiful day of just lazy play, low tide creatures, and sunny sky views.☀️

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

^ ^ ^ Turns out, moving a rock with your head is harder than it looks!😜

 

^ ^ ^ My loves…❤️

 

 

 

^ ^ ^ Here comes the train!🚂

^ ^ ^ This kid lives for trains, trucks…& rocks.

 

 

I hope y’all are enjoying your summer as much as we are!

Until next time…

And as always, thanks for reading!

Lemons to Love,

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Sol Duc Falls

Summertime is HERE and it feels to be slippin’ by…the 4th of July has already come and gone and I’ve got PFD (Post Fourth Depression). I’ve decided to self-medicate with blog posts of our weekend and planning more hikes during our last summer in the PNW.😄 **Please consult with your doctor before self-medicating for PFD, there are more patriotic holidays just around the corner**

This year for the 4th we went on a few different excursions, one being quite a jaunt up into the Olympic Peninsula (*cough* turns out a 3.5 hrs drive each way is, in fact, my limit on traveling for a hike). It’s so hard to say no though because there are so.many.trails up in the Olympic Peninsula!  We could probably plan a different trail for every weekend through the summer and still not hike half of what’s to offer. We’re trying to hit 100 miles of hiking before winter rears it’s ugly face, but with the weather being so BLEH lately it’s hard to get out there and get’er done with a toddler in tote.

So with our long, holiday weekend we drove out to the Sol Duc River trail in the Olympic National Forest. It’s a bit of a tourist spot due to the natural hot springs right at the start of the trail, but most visitors were more interested in the springs which left the trail quiet and underpopulated…just how we like it.😊 It was a 6.0 mile round trip hike with mild elevation and beautiful views throughout the forest. I would definitely do this trail again but leave earlier in the day to allow for more time near the water.

 

 

 

 

^ ^ ^ Poor quality pic from my phone, but only one I got of us as a fam from the day…plus, look at that little nugget cheesin’ in the back!😁

 

^ ^ ^ B is always reminding us how important it is to stay hydrated!😉

 

Hope you enjoyed our PNW hiking adventures for the 4th! We’ve got plenty more on the list to cross off before summer ends, so stay tuned!☀️

Don’t forget to check out our video montage below!!

Lemons to Love,

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Victoria, BC

We did it. We took our very first family-of-three vacation! It was a sweet, fun, romantic getaway…set for three. We sorta planned it on a whim one day over the phone while G was deployed — I did some research, booked our hotel, and had the weekend on a *soft* plan of exploring and perusing.  It was G’s birthday while he was gone, poor guy has been home once (maybe?) for his bday since he’s been in, so I wanted to make this trip as special as I could with a few surprises here and there. After a few tips from some girlfriends who’ve been to Victoria, I had our weekend set and ready to set sail (ferry boat pun!)

I loved it there! It was like something out of a movie set. The streets were so clean and lawns well manicured, the people were so nice and helpful. But before I oversell Victoria, let me back it up to our ride out there. We departed from the Port Angeles ferry that takes you directly to Victoria. It was a short (and I use that term loosely with a non-napping toddler on our hands) hour and a half ride to Vancouver Island. If I had it to do all over again would I? Yes! Toddlers are just gonna toddler, ferry boat or not mmkay?!

But look at this lil’ guy…toddlering moments and all, he just makes life so.much.more.fun!

^^^ Accurate depiction of Geoff’s stress level at one point on the ferry ride ;D

All said and done, this little guy did so awesome for being off schedule pretty much the whole weekend and going with the flow of the trip. I mean, one little flash of those chiclets and blue eyes, and Geoff we are back on vacation vibes. 🙂

I had a bottle of Prosecco and charcuterie plate delivered to our room once we arrived. I really wanted Geoff to know how much we missed him while he was gone and start the weekend off with some hashtag champs. #natch

^^^Please take note of this amazing make-shift divider we concocted in our hotel room! We had two sound machines going and dimmed lighting. It worked out great because we were still able to enjoy the actual room and bathroom, opposed to being held hostage and whispering in a corner somewhere!  (Not my idea of a vacation, amiright??)

Our first night there we wanted to do something easy and still make it feel like we went somewhere for a ‘date nightish’ dinner (that’s a saying, right??) So we popped down to the hotel’s Veneto Tapas Lounge located on their first floor, and it.was.YUM! Apparently it’s a popular little spot with the locals, and I could see why! It had the perfect lounge/date night vibes with soft lighting and modern decor. There was an actual age limit for the restaurant side because of the bar, so we sat in the adjoined Cafe Veneto, where they serve the same menu. We ordered their crispy maple soy pork belly sliders made with buttermilk fried chicken and drizzled with sriracha mayo (yas), the braised beef short rib sliders, and the crispy pork belly and pan-seared chili-basil scallops (yas, yassss!) The pork belly sliders were so good we ordered another plate to take to our room. Hashtag vacayyy, y’all!

^^^ Haha! I love B’s face in this! He’s all “which one of dem dranks for me?!”

Saturday we made reservations with a tour bus company to take us out to the Butterfly Gardens and Butchart. Now, y’all know I’ve seen some amazing flower fields in my days here in the PNW, and I’ve always loved the Atlanta Botanical Gardens…but Butchart just takes gardening to a whole new level. It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen! Even Geoff liked it. 🙂

^^^ Getting’ our tourist on!

^^^ The Sunken Garden…

^^^ The cherry blossoms were in bloom and so so pretty! When the wind would blow, little blossoms would fall from the tree and float around you like something straight from a movie scene. It was magical.

^^^ This is the mansion that the couple lived in while they built these gardens. It all started in 1904 from a quarry that Mrs. Butchart reconstructed in the Sunken garden. Over time she transformed special sections of the property into a Japanese garden, Rose garden, and Italian garden. To this day, the grounds still remain in the Butchart family — now that’s tradition.

After touring the gardens, we headed back on our tour bus to downtown Victoria. There was so much to see there, but with only the afternoon left we decided to walk up a few blocks to their public park at Beacon Hill. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, y’all…even the public park was unbelievably beautiful! and clean! so clean and well maintained. There was a petting zoo, rows of flowers, and trails, splash parks and ponds, playgrounds and waterfront views.

^^^ Bless his lil heart — these were the only type of naps he got…and I’ll take it!

^^^ This is the main port, and heart of downtown Victoria. There were street performers, water taxis and delicious seafood vibes running all through the harbor.

^^^ Dinner, night two. We walked through Chinatown and stopped in this restaurant the server from our dinner, night one, suggested. It was like Thai street food (or what I would imagine it to be like!) I had the chicken Pad Thai and G had the chicken curry rice…mine was better. 😉

^^^ Our last day and walk back to the ferry.  This is their Parliament building and the dreary weather and distant photo really doesn’t do it enough justice. It was…you guessed it…so pretty!

^^^ Look at me, look at me…I’m da Captain now.

^^^ I never tire of these faces in my life. Sappy moment in 3, 2, 1… I’m so grateful for their abounding love and spirit.

Another great trip with the fam down in the books! We have a few more fun things in store this summer that I can’t wait to share!

Have a great week, y’all…and thanks for reading!

Lemons to Love,

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Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival

“For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.” Song of Solomon 2: 11-12

This weekend I went to a baptism for a friend of mine out here in the PNW. The day was really special to me — to celebrate the sweet spiritual life of one precious baby and to share that time with a special friend of mine and her sweet family — they were all sentimental moments that reminded me of the day Brooks was baptized at my home church and celebrating the start to his walk with Christ…not to mention my responsibility to raise him to know Him. In the Priest’s sermon he compared baptism to a 10 million dollar bill; not very useful for a trip to Starbucks or treating a group of friends to dinner — but break that bill into smaller ones, and you’ve got yourself a lot of gifts to share with the world! Just like being baptized. What good is it if we do nothing with it? Being baptized is something to share daily with those around us — with acts of kindness and gifts of our love, through Christ. I just loved that analogy.

Now, what does all of this have to do with my tulip festival outing? Here’s my church-to-tulip fields segue 🙂 …the symbolism behind the spring blooms. There is a lot of hard work, preparation, and patience that go into the ‘final product’ of a tulip field. But with those commitments comes a promise of the fruits of our labor. The newness God promises after a baptism and the fresh beginning He offers when we ask for forgiveness — these are what I live for…what get me through those dreary seasons where the bloom seems so far our of site. These tulip fields out here are too beautiful for words or even the attempt of a snapshot in a photo, but they remind me that “the rain is over, and the flowers appear on the earth.”

Take all of that as you will…. 🙂

So back to our trip to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival! I just had a spontaneous moment one morning when I woke up and thought ‘why not?’ Remember when I went up to the Skagit Valley tulips with friends a few year back? Well, now that we live a little further south I wanted to check out the tulips I’d seen amazing pictures of down in Oregon. I honestly was just expecting the fields of colorful tulips, but when we pulled up there was so much more! I love it when a little trip turns into so much more than you expected. I had such a genuinely fun, sweet time with B going through the rows of tulips. They even had a kid area with bungee/harness jumping, pony rides, slides, food, and more! The festival goes until May 1st, so any WA friends y’all should definitely make the trip down. (It’s way better than Skagit in my opinion).

I think this is a pretty photo heavy post, y’all…so, #sorrynotsorry! 🙂 There was just so much to see, do, and capture.
Quick side note: These pics are not super imposed or saturated in color….the colors are actually that gorgeous and vivid! …and B is actually that delicious. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

^^^ He had SO much fun running through the tulip rows. There are signs everywhere that strongly suggest state admirers not to pick the flowers. I deterred him at first, but there may have been a tulip or two plucked by tiny hands (shh, don’t judge).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

^^^ That’s a good day of play right there 🙂

 

^^^ This was a BUMPY tractor ride through the tulip fields they had for the kids. B was a little unsure at first but was laughing and loving it after the first few bumps. 🙂

^^^ To say that he loved the pony ride would be a major understatement!! He kept cracking up and saying ‘moo’ — I love this kid!

 

 

 

^^^ Such a ham!

^^^ Ma! Let go! I gotta ride!

 

 

 

Disheveled hair, exhausted and so so happy. I’ve LOVED this time I’ve gotten with just B and me while Geoff has been gone. There have been so many sweet moments that really fill my heart…and totally make up for the mommy failure moments, temporary single mom life, and screaming toddler tantrums. He’s like my little tiny human BFF — I love his spirit and carefree disposition on life.

Geoff gets home in less than a week! Can’t wait for family adventures to begin! We’re hittin’ the ground running with a special weekend trip away the first weekend he’s back! ….you know they’ll be a post on it. 😉 Aside from going home, we’ve never had a family over night trip since we’ve lived here. I think it’s about time we make that happen.

Have a great week!

Thanks for reading…

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Northwest Trek Wildlife

I was able to check off another box on my PNW bucket list recently! B and I met up with some good friends to enjoy the day exploring and learning at the Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. Northwest Trek is an outdoor wildlife conservation that allows animals to remain in their natural habitat. They have beautiful trails and exhibits of the different wildlife they house, along with a 50 minute tram ride through the park where you can see furry four-legged friends like elk, moose, bison, bighorn sheep, and mountain goats! We even saw a pretty large (and in charge) beaver right before he dove back into hiding…off to build a dam, I suppose. 😉

I was a little weary on making the trip because I’ve heard mixed reviews on never seeing an actual animal during the wildlife tour. But I guess the weather was right and the creatures were feelin’ social because we saw every single animal they have to offer! They even have a pretty big kid’s park they just opened the weekend we went. It was lots of fun for B to run around on, but once the bigger kids started arriving it was clear the Spring Breakers were taking over. 🙂 Granted, 18 months may be a little young for that grand size of the park, highlight’s always 20/20, right? Regardless, we got there early and really enjoyed our time playing in the beautiful weather with friends!

*Random proud parent moment: B fell and got his first concrete scraped raspberry — he’s officially a toddler on the loose! and side note: he handled it better than me. B:2, Mama: 0

^^^ I call this the lady killer. This glaring model pose just absolutely kills me…and he doesn’t even know it. Well, mostly. 😉

^^^ Slightly unsure, but still tried!

^^^ B was pretty unsure what to do with this contraption. I, of course, attempted to show him by offering him a tandem jumping session….he wasn’t into it.

^^^ Cutie-patootie Molly hittin’ me up with some classic poses…she was sweet enough to oblige my request. 🙂

^^^ And Kieran killing’ the game! You can tell they’ve been well-schooled in mommy-photography 101.

^^^ Calling the wolf to come closer 🙂

^^^ Caption this ^^^

Just a little glimpse of springtime heaven. I love the drive out there and back…it’s so full of open fields and groomed country side farms. The rolling hills with these pops of yellow flowers were so pretty on the bright, sunny day…I just had to stop and snap a pic to savor.

I joked with my mom earlier when the idea of us coming home before Christmas came up. I replied “I toughed it out for six long months of winter here just so I could get to my very favorite time of the year out here! If you wanna see us, com’on back! We have plenty on the spring/summer agenda.” 😉

Speaking of agenda…I have the longest.list.ever that I started last summer when I officially caught ‘the bug’. I’m hoping we can get to most of it and go somewhere new to explore with each outing! If that’s the case consider this your official warning: overgramming has a high probability rate.

Thanks for reading!

Lemons to Love,

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Murhut and Rocky Brook Falls

A few weeks back B and I took off for another #babyBandme adventure. With Geoff still gone, having fun outings with Brooks helps to time go by much quicker; not to mention it’s just something I really love doing with him. Although I get homesick and miss the South (almost daily) I’m definitely not wishing my time away here as we approach our last summer here in Washington. I’ve really found a deep (almost spiritual) love for being outdoors here the PNW, and love nothing more than sharing that joy with my family, and creating so many different memories to look back on.

I do quite a bit of research into our hikes…where they’ll be, how long they take, what’s the difficulty level, and of course, are there waterfalls.  This particular outing took us up into the Olympic Peninsula where there are tons of hiking trails and waterfalls that surround the Olympic National Forest. I try to keep my drive time to less than 2 hours and my hiking to less than 5 miles round-trip. A) for safety reasons and B) I’m not sure I could handle the 30 pound load by myself without breaks for snacks and water. 😉 But now that we have a new-to-me hiking carrier who knows how far I could go?! Kidding…it’ll still be the same until Geoff gets back!

We had so much fun exploring these trails in search of the waterfalls at the end. Our first stop was Rocky Brook Falls followed by Murhot Falls. B was getting a little antsy toward the end of Murhot so I let him out to explore at his own pace. He loved hearing his echo through the forest! *heart emoji* It was so sweet to watch him squeal, run, and of course, play with rocks (his favorite).

 

^^^ Selfie stick in major action ^^^

^^^ Rocky Brook Falls

 

 

 

 

 

 

Y’all…. I caught a bald eagle catching it’s lil fishy snack. I’m trying to play this cool, but I freaked. Also, the picture quality is terrible on the close up, but….I don’t care.🤓

 

 

 

 

^^^ Rock?

^^^ Murhot Falls

 

^^^ More rock??

 

 

 

 

^^^ and…more rock??

Thanks so much for reading! I’ve loved sharing these amazing times I get to experience with my family…until next time!

Don’t forget to check out my video montage from our #mommyandme hike of the falls!

Lemons to Love,

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MiMi’s visit, part III

Rounding out part I and part II of MiMi’s visits with a drive down to Multnomah Falls and trip to the Point Defiance Zoo. I was so deter.mined. to do something outside and fun right before mom left. I refused to let the rain do us in like that and keep us indoors in her last few hours with us…so up To Point Defiance we went! We kind of laughed to ourselves when we saw other ‘desperate-to-be-outsiders’ walking up to the park. As soon as we crossed the threshold it was like gail force winds kicked in (seriously). At one point, we were literally being blown around trying to find the monkeys…then we soon realized we couldn’t find them because we were at the lemur exhibit. *awk* It was all the wind — kept me from reading the sign correctly and seeing a flash of a furry creature as a monkey. Easy mistake, right?

Our visit got cut a little short as the park grounds’ keepers were asking  all the guests to leave because of heavy winds and trees falling. We quickly grabbed our comped tickets and were on our way, but not before a large tree branch almost hit me and my car door slammed me into the seat! (Such drama on my mom’s last day! Oy!)

Quick disclaimer: this is not a picture heavy (or quality) post, but just as fun nonetheless!

 

 

 

 

^^^ Brooks looking thrilled as ever. ^^^

^^^ My interpretation of the crazy wind at the zoo. That’s SAG quality right there. ^^^

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

^^^ Oh Mimi, how I love thee, let me count the ways. I’m so thankful for the time we’ve had together and the memories we will always have from your visit.

WE LOVE YOU! (Come back anytime;)

Thanks for reading and sharing in our memories…

Lemons to Love,

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MiMi’s visit, part II

I hope y’all enjoyed part I of MiMi’s visit! The drive and view alone to me is always worth it, but once you get to Paradise the panoramic views are breathtaking. I’m so glad my mom saw what we do too after her visit in the snow.

So aside from that mini break in beautiful weather during our trip to the mountain, it literally poured rain the whole time my mom was here. I know, I know…y’all are like, cool, that’s Washington right? No, usually it’s an overcast misty rain that’s dare I say bearable *gasp* but this was like ‘We’re not in Kansas anymore’. I was practically knocked unconscious by a falling tree branch during our trip to the zoo. Ok, slight exaggeration but the picture has been painted — the weather pretty much sucked. But we made the best of it and had our chill days in and more adventures out!

On this particular rainy day we headed to the Hands on Children’s Museum. B had a blast! He was into ev.ery.thing — I loved watching his little mind learn, explore, and begin to imagine in the world around him. It’s such a sweet site to see.

 

 

 

 

^^^ B loves water. All of it — in every speed, depth and temperature.

 

 

 

 

^^^ Looks like they’re in deep thought planning their next strategic lay. 🙂

 

 

“Cheers”

^^^ I mean, the tiny apron for tiny people. Seriously y’all…

Note: Not staged and clearly adorable. ❤

 

^^^ Mic check. 1, 2… Hot mic

 

 

It’s meant more to me than I can probably even emotionally tap into right now to have these memories locked forever in time.

Love you, mom (& missed you, dad). *holds back a river of tears*

Stay tuned for more tears waterfalls and pictures in MiMi’s visit, part III!

Thanks for reading!

Lemons to Love,

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MiMi’s visit, part I

It’s your lucky day, y’all! I’ve decided there’s just too many pictures and too much fun for me to squeeze MiMi’s visit into one post! So part I you shall have, and part II you shall get. 🙂

I strategically planned my mom’s visit right around the middle mark of G’s deployment. Ya know, for obvious reasons like a morale booster, I’d need the socialization, and I’d probably be needing a grocery run by then. 😉 Kidding y’all…I am a grown up now, well, mostly. To say I was excited for her arrival would be an understatement. Our house hadn’t been so clean since I don’t know when, and I was just so looking forward to the in between moments together of quality time and girl talks. It was also refreshing to cook for another adult again who appreciated a home-cooked meal. Sometimes I think B would just be okay with a squeeze pouch, but he enjoys what I make for him too…which is also sometimes a squeeze pouch. #realtalk

Mom arrived on a Monday and we got right to the girl time with a glass of wine and an episode of The Bachelor. We settled into our roommate status right away and enjoyed the 2 weeks we had together.

My first order of business on my day off was to take MiMi to one of our favorite spots up here. Can you guess? 🙂 I’ll give you a hint….it’s Mt. Rainier. Huge spoiler, I know.

A few days before we went, mom shared she’d never been sledding before, like ever. Which I guess I never had either before moving out here, so it was high time we made it happen for her! Of course about an hour into the drive I realized I forgot our dang sled, but you better believe I asked a stranger for theirs and played the whole ‘hey, my mom is from Florida and has never sledded before…’ routine. Hook. Line. Sinker. It actually took some solid peer pressure from the sweet lady who let us borrow her sled and me to convince my mom to trek up that hill and give it a whirl! I was relentless and she caved. I was so proud of her for doing it too! She handled it like the boss she is. #yougogirl

We had such a fun up there, and I especially loved seeing B and my mom play around, making memories together. Mom confession: I lost one of Bs gloves and forgot his snow pants (such a rookie!) but he seemed to handle the frost bite well. 😉 Kidding. He was fine. But I will remember our snow gear for next time — momma needs to conquer that skateboard-sized snow wall for her next sledding trip!

^ ^ ^ Some real life photography captured there! 🙂

^ ^ ^ Haha! Fall #1 of….

^ ^ ^ Post peer-pressure! …Now come the action shots.

Below is the view from the top of the sledding run. It’s kind of hard to see the scale, but it was a pretty impressive creation the Park staff put together!

^ ^ ^ Uh oh, fall #2. 😀

^ ^ ^ B, back at it again with the selfie stick.


And I’ll leave you with this sweetness. ^ ^ ^

Stay tuned for MiMi visit, part II. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

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Staircase Trail

With Geoff being away these next few months I’ve tried to make a point to do adventurous things with my lil B to help the time pass. Having this blue-eyed nugget in my life definitely brings so much joy to my everyday, but I don’t want to gloss over the fact that some days are hard too. Geoff’s strong presence is definitely missed. Some days I even feel lonely, which is sort of a weird thing to say when I have a job, hobbies, and sweet friends here to keep me busy….but I guess even after 4 years of settling into the PNW, a girl still gets homesick. And with the absence of Geoff from our day to day life that has become even more apparent to me lately. These short day trips with my little man are such beautiful reminders and spiritual reflections of the blessings God has put directly in my life. This year hasn’t exactly started off as planned; with the rejection of a potential career path, the loss of a baby, and Geoff’s quick deployment, I see God telling me He will fight for me, “I need only be still.” …That seems to be my biggest obstacle as of yet. 😉

Side note: I’m currently watching The Bachelor and reminiscing of days with Geoff, as we watch this show, psychoanalyzing which girls will make it to the end and why. Fun fact: we’ve never finished a season of The Bachelor together because he’s always pulled away with a deployment or training. #firstworldproblems

So, tell me more of this Staircase Trail you speak of Lindsay? Oh, the point of the post…right.
I planned a little day trip with B to get outside and explore on a dry day with the sun shining. This past weekend was perfect for just that! I found this spot about an hour from us in the southeastern corner of the Olympic National Forest. I actually ended up getting lost, saw some cars in front of me that ‘seemed’ to know where they were going on this unpaved road, and just went with it! (in the safest way possible, obviously;)

We found a few trails and opted for the shorter 2+ mile one. My inner mom brain started to rapidly think about all the potential possibilities that could go wrong while hiking alone, so I stalked a few sweet girls to buddy up with during the hike and they happily accepted my stalkish offer.

Here is our day together perfectly captured through a lens…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A little boy-time pit-stop to dig through dirt and throw rocks…

This round face melts me to the core y’all…

 

It was so darn adorable to see him freely exploring, getting dirty, and squealing down the trails…

Dirty boy butt… ❤

 

These views, y’all! They’re unreal…I had SUCH a fun day with my little sweet one and can’t wait to plan the next one!! Spoiler alert: the next one will probably be with his MiMi!! *holds in scream* She is coming out here in one week to stay with us for two whole weeks!! Maj girl time y’all!!!

While I wrote this post…this scripture popped into my mind and I wanted to share because it totally encompasses where I am now and faithfully trying to meet God on a daily basis.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declared the Lord “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

Thanks as always for reading! I sometimes hesitate to write such vulnerable posts…leaving me feeling a bit…exposed. But being transparent for the sake of vulnerability can be so freeing, and I thank y’all for that outlet!

Lemons to Love,

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Nisqually Wildlife Reserve

Nerd alert!! This post contains minimal pics of actual people but instead my artistic approach to nature and God’s vast land and it’s beauty. You’ve been warned… 🙂

So there’s this national wildlife preserve not too far from us that I’ve been wanting to visit since we moved, but it’s been so low on my list I honestly haven’t made the time. With Geoff being gone, and the weather being too pretty not to take advantage of I decided to take an impromptu trip when B woke up from his nap!

With almost 800 acres of land to explore, my measly hour barely put a dent in what there was to find. But with stroller and camera in hand, B and I set out like two little explorers soaking in the sea and sun.

Hope you enjoy!

I love, love, love finding the time to tap into my creative — whether it’s a house project, painting, photographing, or writing…I’m just so thankful for this creative mind God has given me.

TGIF dear readers! I hope you have fun plans this weekend with friends and loved ones to share with them how much you care *heart eyes emoji* 😀

Thanks for reading!

Lemons to love,

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