Monday, July 30, 2012

Time with Auntie Mar

I have to say that when my sister comes out for a couple weeks in the summertime, it is seriously my favorite time of the summer.  My mom always says, "You need to be super grateful that you have a sister.  I never had one and always wanted one."  I am super grateful.  Mary is definitely a kindred spirit and we have a blast together.  She loves my kids and they adore her.  For someone who has never had her own children, she deals so well with the whininess of a two-year-old, constant busyness of feeding, changing, clothing, and playing with the kids and is a HUGE help and companion to me when Joe is busiest at work.

Here are just a few highlights of her visit....I may expound on some of these in later posts.

1) Sushi night with friends

2) Watching the sunset together after the kids have gone down... or so we thought

3) Biking to and playing at the beach

4) More time at the beach

5) Hike to Cascade Falls with some of Joe's summer staff

6) Painting the mud room on a whim with a makeshift ladder

7) Hiking nearby, around and eventually to Crater Lake

8) Slacklining with three under three

9) Competing in the Donner Summit Triathlon together

10) Completing some DIY pintrest projects

11) Getting some good Bible/journal time away together at Starbucks

12) Planning, grocery shopping and cooking some deliciousness

13) Hiking to Cave Rock to watch a glorious sunset

Thanks again Mar for coming out and playing with us this summer.  We miss you and love you heaps and heaps!!!!

Once upon a Saturday

Joe had a day off last Saturday so we took full advantage and enjoyed every minute with Daddy! I got away in the morning for a one-on-one with Kacee, one of Joe's day camp counselors, and then the family met me in town for a hike.  We decided to explore Van Sickle State Park which is right in town and basically has trails that run on the land that turns into "Heavenly Ski Resort" in the winter.  We took a lovely hike out to a little waterfall and enjoyed putting our feet in the cold water.

Then we grabbed a smoothie from Jamba Juice and a sandwich from Subway for lunch and took a ride on the gondola.  We didn't even stop at the top... just rode it straight up and down and enjoyed the views along the way.  Yes, we also had a chocolate cookie as you can tell from Chlo-bug's face.

Then it was nap time and Joe and I got to work on some house projects while the kids took naps... or at least stayed in their respective rooms.  :)  Then we got to attend a birthday party for a friend in our home group.  It was at the Tot Spot in town and the kids had LOADS of fun in the ball pit and playing on the trampoline.

Next we grabbed some Fasta Pasta for dinner and headed to the beach/park in town to have a picnic dinner.  Joe helped Nate collect some bugs in his new bug catcher (the party favor) while Chloe tagged along, and I caught some evening rays.  It was a lovely day.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

"Aunt" Caleb's visit

Boy did we pack it in while my brother was here. (Mary was able to stay a week longer... but that will have to be in another blog.) Nate just adored "Aunt Caleb" as he called him....and I think pretty highly of my brother as well.  :)  I'll give you the quick version of the visit.

Day 1: Mountain Biking on the Flume Trail

This bike ride has spectacular views... if you can endure the first 5 miles of uphill riding.  Mary and I got a head start while the boys (this was the one thing Joe was able to join us on) dropped off a vehicle at the end of the ride.  

It was funny, as Joe and Caleb were passing a couple biking up as well, Joe asked if the couple had seen his wife and her sister riding this way.  They answered, "The only people we have seen so far were two teenage girls just chatting away as they flew past."  Two funny things in that.  1) That I can still pass as a teenager.  2) This was obviously at the very beginning of the ride... we were not talking much near the end of the climb.  

Day 2: Mt. Tallac Summit

Yes, we decided to go big.  With a total distance of 12 miles and a 3,500 feet altitude gain, we had our work cut out for us that day.  But it was worth the effort for the gorgeous views of Lake Tahoe and the desolation wilderness behind us.  Thankfully, we were all still friends at the end of the day.  

Caleb was a stud for carrying my two-year-old up and down and Mary was a lifesaver for carrying Chloe down the whole way.  We slept hard that night. 

Day 3: Bike ride from Meeks Bay to Squaw Valley

Our bums had mostly recovered from our bike ride a couple days ago, so we mounted up again on the other side of the lake and biked the 20 miles out and back along Lake Tahoe and then following the Truckee River.  The kiddos were towed along on this adventure and I was so grateful for Caleb's strong legs and willingness to pull them on the way back!  

Day 4: Small hike to Chimney Beach and celebrating the 4th

We headed out earlier than usual along the east shore to hike down to Chimney Beach, a secluded beach along highway 28.  Sometimes I am the only one there, but it being the 4th of July... a CRAZY time in Tahoe, we definitely were sharing our sand, but not too bad.  We all went for swims in the chilly water, jumped off rocks, caught some rays, and played with the munchkins.  A lovely morning.  

That afternoon Caleb and I got to go paddle boarding while the kids napped while Mary graciously stayed with them and made 4th of July decorations to boot.  Read the earlier post about our 4th of July celebrations if you would like to know more details about the evening.  

Caleb taught Nate to say "Whatsup"

All in all, we had a fantastic time and Caleb was greatly missed when he left early on the morning of the 5th.  His laid back attitude, good laughs, willingness to help lend a hand, and "I'll try anything" mentality was an enlivenment to our summer!  Thanks for coming out C-Diggity-Dogg!  

Monday, July 23, 2012

DIY Jewelry stick

I got to help my good friend Tif this week dispose of her old jewelry box that was stuffed with necklaces, bracelets and earrings and create this new awesome way of storing them.

She had found the pieces of naturally sanded down driftwood at a lake nearby, so we just had to hang them from the ceiling to hooks with fishing line.  She has one for her necklaces and one for her bracelets.  It also saves space on her dresser and keeps them from getting all tangled in the old box.  

Sorry I didn't take better pictures, as it is kinda hard to see, but at least you get the idea!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Independence Day

We had a fantastic time celebrating the 4th of July this year.  We grilled some delicious steaks, did face painting, ate an exorbitant amount of delicious food, walked to the beach at sunset, consumed some wonderful patriotic dessert and hiked up Round Hill to watch the stellar fireworks show.  We had great times with good friends with lots of laughs.  All three kiddos got to come to the fireworks this year.  Chloe was a bit fearful throughout it... amazingly.  Nate slept through most of it.  And Adley just sat content and enjoyed it.  Check out some of the photos below....