The Simple Things

Sky and I were picking blackberries at the park and all of a sudden I hear “Mommy get over here right now!”

With an 8 year old you really never know what your going to get as you round the corner to the other side of the blackberry bush, had she fallen in and scratched from head to toe, was there a snake, was Ruthie hurt…I was instantly thinking of all the bad things it could be.

Turns out it was none of those things…”I made a new friend, and I think it wants to come home with me, look!”


There truly is nothing like a simple, every day adventure, with your kiddo to help you find joy in something like a lady bug.

P.S. I don’t recommend picking blackberries with polarized sunglasses on…they all looked very ripe, and some were, but most of what we brought home was very tart and could have used another week or so on the vine. Lesson learned I guess…also, I guess that’s what a sprinkle of sugar is for.

Biker Chick

I think we have an official mountain biker on our hands! She is getting to the point where she wants to ride in the woods and down single track trails. Trails that give me pause btw. But, she’s all for it!

She wanted to take on a “hard” trail in the woods. Had to hop off a few times and get going again, but her sense of adventure is so strong!

She still has trouble here and there, had to hop off a few times on the trail in the picture, it was more technical than what she’s been riding on.

Our summer bike rides have been the highlight of summer for me! For one I’m enjoying being on my bike way more than running (although I’m getting back to running as well) it’s way easier on my bad knee. Second Sky has made huge progress from the beginning of summer to now. She’s so much more self sufficient, getting pretty good at her gears, and willing to take on pretty much anything the park has to offer.

Mark gets all the bike riding credit…he is the one that has taught her how to ride her bike, and how to adjust to her new bike with hand brakes and gears. 

Now we just have to get her some cold weather gear so we can keep up the skills during fall/winter. I hate to start over again in the spring. The winter wind chill on the bike though…that can be pretty cold. For now we are getting in as many family rides as we can while the weather is still accommodating.

Happy Biking!

Thankful Thursday

Today I’m thankful to live where we live. We have mild weather, very few (if any) bugs/snakes that will kill you (in our part of the state anyway), it’s green year round (my fave color), there is a ton of outdoor life & activity to enjoy, and we are within an hour’ish of a mountain and the coast….best of both worlds.

Very low tide on the beach = great seashell hunting and tide pools to pear into.

I’m also thankful we had the opportunity to staycation over Memorial Day weekend. Typically we are camping that weekend, but we waited too long to make reservations, and instead of trying to force a camping trip that was going to be difficult to pull off we opted to stay home and enjoy a few day trips instead.

We make a lot of trips over the mountains to the East side of the state, but rarely do we stop at parks/attractions along the way. Our goal is always getting to family at the other end of the drive. So, we took our staycation as an opportunity to explore the North Bend area, which we drive through a lot, but never stop. We wanted to mountain bike part of the Iron Horse Trail, which ended up being a bit advanced for Sky, but we managed 4 miles before she was over it. I mean Over. It. Since our ride was cut short we explored the area and a few parks and pretty areas. I kinda fell in love with the area, and can’t wait to do some camping and more exploring. (No pics of this outing, was too busy enjoying the family time).

They found so many little crabs, fish, shells and other random stuff.

Day two we headed to Bainbridge Island, which is only about 1 1/2 hours away, but you would think it’s much further given it’s only the 2nd time I’ve been there. We got lucky with the weather, sunny and warm, but not too hot, and the island was just perfect. We hit the beach, and the forest, and a few of the little spots in town, and of course a winery. I don’t know, there is just something about being on an island that feels so relaxed, like time slows down.

Sky is a beach girl. It’s her #1 requested destination for fun and exploring. She would live on the beach if she had her way!

It was extra fun having our friends join us in our adventure. Sky loved having Grace and Kiera to hang with all day, always nice to have other kiddos around for her!

Grand Forest is a great spot to hike, and was very family friendly. Would like to go back and explore more!

Here’s to staycations and exploring the amazingly beautiful area we call home. Thankful I have such great friends and family to explore with!

What are you thankful for today?



The Two Faces of Sky

And this is why I take 15+ pics just to get one good one.


Seriously I see this look 5,000 times a day, at least. It’s the you don’t know what your talking about/stop talking to me/you are ridiculous look.

In true, I’m a 6 year old and change my mind every few seconds fashion, 2 seconds later this is the look we get.


When we go for family walks in the woods we let Sky pick our path, Mark told her this one ended in a dead end, but she insisted on taking it anyway, and she really doesn’t like being wrong, or maybe she doesn’t like it when Mommy & Daddy are right. Whatever, that’s the reason behind the first look.

Love this little munchkin so much, even with her eye rolling and exasperated looks.

P.S. Go for more walks in the woods/at the park!

S’mores With Friends

We usually save s’mores for camping only. But, our last camping trip of the season I was sick, and we cut it short, and it was still dry so there was a burn ban…no s’mores without flame!


I’m not going to lie I felt so let down after that trip. From being sick, to not having a camp fire it just felt like a little bummer. And, we had a ton of s’mores fixings just sitting around begging to be eaten.

Solution = invite friends over at the last minute for a s’mores roast around the fire pit on the patio. Seriously this was the easiest thing ever. Sometimes I want to host friends, but I don’t feel like doing the whole full blown dinner thing. S’mores roasting is the perfect solution! I chose to keep it simple with traditional fixing’s, but you could get a bit fancy with flavored chocolate, homemade marshmallows, and cookies instead of graham crackers if you wanted to make it a little special.


I’m hoping we can find an evening for hot chocolate and Christmas tree lighting next month. Keep it simple and enjoy time with people we care about.

Gifford Vineyard Harvest 2017

I’m only a month late sharing this, but better late than never right. The first weekend in Oct Mark and I headed over to E WA to help my Aunt and Uncle with their grape harvest.


We were so thankful that good friends offered to let Sky spend the weekend with them back home which freed Mark and I up to be able to work in the vineyard without trying to keep an eye on Sky. Bonus…we could sneak in a little date night dinner on the way over. I love our kiddo, but it was kind of fun making the trip over just the two of us.

Highly recommend Zesta Cucina if you find yourself hungry in Yakima…really good food!

Anyway, we were so excited to be able to help with the first official harvest at Gifford Vineyard. We’ve seen the transformation from family home to vineyard, we helped plant the very grapes we were going to harvest, and have spent several weekends over the last few years helping out around the vineyard. It finally felt like all the hard work was paying off…literally they had a check in hand at the end of the day!

Harvesting is a lot more fun than planting. It’s still work, and it’s still a long, full day, but a lot easier on the body than planting, or cutting grow tubes off! We were so lucky to have a beautiful day with sunny, cooler weather and it just felt like a celebration all day long.


I have a whole new appreciation for all the work that goes into a bottle of wine, and I’m only talking about the growing part…I’m sure there is a ton of work on the wine making side of things as well. Thank goodness there are those out there willing to put in the hard work so that us winos can enjoy a good bottle of vino! 🙂


There was a little oops loading the truck, one of the containers dumped off the tractor while lifting it and we ended up with a pile of grapes in the driveway…we had fun stomping around in them after!
Wine makes, wine growers, and signed, paid for contract! Over 3 tons of grapes picked, and loaded!


Very satisfying work indeed. And, since Sky wasn’t there with us we brought some grapes back with us so she could stomp them, so fun!

Cheers to a successful harvest!



Golden Hour

Most photographers live for “golden hour”….that time of day when the sun is going down, but not set yet, the light is softer and more golden. It’s a lot more pretty for photos than glaring, bright sun light.

Unedited…this was the height of the eclipse for us. still pretty light, but it was such a pretty light. This photo does not do it justice. 

I’m pretty sure we all know there was an eclipse yesterday. Sky was super excited about it, and wanted to go somewhere to view it, and make is special. So we headed to Chambers Bay Park and found our spot in the meadow to watch the show.


I’m not sure what I expected to happen, but that first glance up at the sky with the glasses on and I was floored. Sky was too. She couldn’t get over being able to see the moon in front of the sun.


What I didn’t expect was the amazing light that happened at the peak of the eclipse. We were not in the path of totality so there was still a decent amount of light. It did get noticeable darker, and cooler, but not totally dark. Instead we had this totally amazing golden light that was gorgeous. Made me wish I had a real camera and was ready to take “real” photos. It was so pretty.


Sky thought it was pretty epic to say the least. All I could hear from Sky was “I can see the moon! Mommy this is so amazing. I will remember this forever!”

I love being able to do stuff like this with her!