parks to camping to greeley

It's a good thing we love to be outside, because we've been all over the place lately.  We had a great playdate with my best friend, Mindy, and her two girls.  We found a nice park about halfway between our two houses last summer and we met there again. A great place to play and enjoy a little picnic.  And plenty to keep the kids entertained while we chat.

Then we spent a couple days camping.  Lots of dirt, exploring, and s'mores.  Mason told me that he wanted to sleep under the stars because one might come down to sleep with him.  Sweet boy.

 Then it was off to Greeley for a visit with Nana and my sister's family.  The cousins had a blast playing at Nana's house while I squeezed in a class at UNC.  Once all the school business was taken care of, my sister and I scrapbooked the night away. 

They'll all be back to our house this weekend since my cousin is getting married!  We're loving all the time with friends and family this summer.


rooted & established

This week I found myself enjoying a morning with Emma all to myself.  The boys had headed into the big town to run some errands.  

 We spent most of the time outside with my sunshine-loving girl.  We pulled weeds and fed them to the chickens.  I'm not really a fan of pulling weeds (who is?) but I love being productive and being outside.  Some of those weeds  were really stubborn.  You know the ones that you pull really hard but just the green top comes off?  Then you have to dig around with a shovel or screwdriver and loosen up the roots.  And even then it can be a little difficult.  I encountered a few of those on my morning with Emma.  I think I spent a good five minutes tackling one such weed. 
Then it occured to me...isn't this how we're supposed to be?  Rooted and established? 

"...I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have the power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ"     ~Ephesians 3:17,18

"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness."      ~Colossians 2:7

So rooted and established in the love of Him that nothing of this world can pull us out. 


family reunion

We spent this past weekend in Glenwood Springs for a little family reunion. It's a nice way to spend Father's  Day.  We gathered together last year and met up again this year.  My Papa is in a nursing home there, so we all got to spend time with him, which was wonderful.  He loved watching the little ones playing on the grass outside.  

Lots of cousin time, which is some of my favorite time!  The little cousins enjoyed splashing in the pool, reading books, playing at the park, running around the back yard and eating ice cream.  

 The big cousins enjoyed taking walks, talking about life, love, and our family and just hanging out together. 

A crazy game of ring-around-the-rosie! If it was up to those little guys it would have never ended.  It was so fun watching their eyes light up each time we stood back up to play again. 

We also had round two of Mason's birthday party.  Complete with lots of fun toys, rootbeer floats and ice cream sundeas.  Mason plopped himself down in the middle of everyone and said, "Can you sing to me now?" 

I am so thankful for my family.  I love that we can get everyone together once in a while and just enjoy each other's company.  So many blessings! 



We just got home from one of our best vacations ever.  We spent a week in Hawaii on the island of Kauai with my dear mama, sister, brother-in-law, and nephew, Jackson.  We left our bambinos in the care of Grammie and Grandpa.  Even though our week was jam packed with lots of sightseeing and adventures it was also so very relaxing. The island is totally laid back and the weather was simply beautiful.  

 Ryan and I hiked the Kalalau trail to the Hanakapi'ai falls which was only 8 miles roundtrip.  The first few miles were along the coast which was so pretty and then we were in a tropical forest full of fruit and delicious smelling plants.  The waterfall was huge!  And hiking at sea level was pretty much awesome, considering most of our hiking is at about 9,000-12,000 feet. 
 Ryan and I also hiked to the Secret Lava Pools where we soaked in a fairly deep pool watching the waves roll in.
 Some of my favorite things were hanging out with the fam, trying as much local food as we could stand, and shopping in all the fun towns along the coast.  And of course hanging at the beach.

During our stay there we were able to travel all the way from the north end of the island to the south end.  We were staying on the north shore, which was lush, green, and beautiful.  The landscape kept changing as you went farther south.  Down at the south shore we visited the Waimea Canyon, the Kalalau Valley, Po'ipu and the Spouting Horn Beach. 

We also went on a sunset sail and watched the sun set over the ocean and attended a garden tour and lu'au.  I loved both of these. So many pretty sights and good food!

We spent a ton of time on the various beaches.  Some were so peaceful and vast and others had crashing waves that you could watch for hours.  We snorkled (for my first time) at Ke'e, Tunnels, and Hideaways.  The sea life was incredible.  We swam and enjoyed the sunshine at Hanalei Bay, 'Anini, Secret Beach, Waipouli, Maha'ulepu, and Po'ipu Beach Park. 

My sister and I were trying to decide what was our favorite and we just couldn't.  I loved laughing and making memories with my family. And I love going new places with Ryan and trying new things. But, it's also so nice to be home.  



Three!  Happy Birthday Mason, a couple days late. Mason spent his third birthday with Grandpa and Grammie and it sounds like it was a very special day.  He ordered oatmeal for breakfast and french toast for dinner.  We chatted with him on the phone since we were in Hawaii.  Then we flew in the next day an hour and a half before his birthday party (a little tired!). We celebrated with him a day late, which he didn't seem to mind at all.   A big thank you to the grandparents for planning an awesome fish-themed party for our sweet boy! 

 Bubbles, swimming, fish cupcakes, friends, family and lots of sunshine =one happy birthday boy!


I really can't believe how much you have grown up in these 3 years.  You are such a sweet, smart, observant, silly boy.  You take everything in.  You can see or hear something one time and will repeat it in context at a later time.  Your vocabulary amazes me. You talk all the time unless you are around a large crowd of people. Then you sit back and watch before you jump in. 

You love to be outside.  You are potty trained except for you still wear a diaper when sleeping.  You love to help daddy and mommy with whatever we're doing around the house.  You fix things all the time with your tools.  You love to sing and read books.  You are always on the go, working on something. It's fun to watch you playing and interacting with Emma. 

I asked you about a few of your favorites, just for fun:

favorite breakfast: oatmeal (more specifically 3-fruit oatmeal (it's what you call it) complete with apples, bananas, and craisins)
favorite lunch: cheesy roll-up (quesadilla)
favorite dinner: you wouldn't answer this one
favorite book: Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? (we just finished reading it...I would guess it's your collection of winnie the pooh books because we read them at least once a day)
favorite thing about emma: trying to understand her
favorite thing to do with mommy: read
favorite thing to do with daddy: paint

You are so much fun, Mason.  We love you bunches! Happy birthday!