Monday, August 31, 2015

Summer Snapshots

Tomorrow is the first day of school and just like that, our summer comes to a close.  I don't really like heat, more specifically humidity, so summer hasn't ever been my favorite season.  This year was different.  We got out.  We explored.  We relaxed.  We enjoyed summer.  I enjoyed summer.  Maybe it's the ages the kids are at or maybe it's the fact that we now have our own backyard? Whatever it was, I'm happy to have finally enjoyed summer, despite the heat ;)

I didn't get on the actual computer much this summer so here is a glimpse of our adventures the past few months!

Enjoying having our very own backyard!

Our private island in the Apple River!  Our elderly neighbor has been gracious enough to allow us to use his yard (which is riverfront property) to access this little island and explore whenever we want!

We went to three library programs this summer!  Touch-a-Truck, the MN ZOOmobile and "The Frog Guy!"

Boating on Pipe Lake!

Backyard camping over the fourth of July!


Hiking and exploring the falls at Willow River State Park!


Polk County Fair!

Polk County Fair!

Amelia LOVES catching all the critters she can find and I LOVE that about her :)

Shot for Hope and meeting/chatting with Donnie Vincent!!!

Minnesota State Fair
Minnesota State Fair

Minnesota State Fair

We enjoyed our summer but we are ready for fall!  We are ready to fall back into the routines that come with having a child in school.  We thrive on routine but it is just so darn hard for us to adhere to even a loose schedule during the summer!  Tomorrow the schedule returns and we will spend a few weeks figuring out our new routines for the academic year.  And I suppose it won't be long before we are all longing for summer 2016 to arrive :)

Monday, August 10, 2015

Life at 30

*This is the third time I have sat down over the past two weeks to write out this post...

So, I turned the big 3-0 last month.  Lots of people feel "old" when they reach this milestone but, for me, I am simply not 29 anymore.  It really wasn't a big deal!

I've been thinking a lot about my life this summer.  This time last year we were ready to move out west in search of adventure and the vast, great outdoors.  Instead, we purchased our first home about an hour away from where we grew up in a small, Wisconsin town of just under 3,000.  Instead of mountains, we have crop fields.  Instead of new, unknown adventures we have the familiarity of an area we know well.  I sometimes wonder - was it the right choice?

The short answer is - yes.  Yes, we made the right choice.  I grew up three states away from my entire extended family.  I saw them maybe twice a year.  Jason grew up near just about all of his family.  They were at every birthday party, every holiday and more.  We experienced opposite ends of the spectrum growing up.

When the idea came up to move across the country I was hesitant.  It sounded scary but, also, invigorating at the same time.  Growing up I never pictured myself sticking around Minnesota/Wisconsin for my whole life.  I wanted more.  Colorado seemed like the answer.  A few months into "planning" a move, we realized what felt right for us wasn't right for our family.  We had three kids to think about - not just ourselves!  So began the search for a home closer to home.

We found our modest home and, despite it not being "the dream", we went for it.  The longer we are here, the more we realize how much we love this house!  It isn't too big, we have a large yard (for in town) and it's ours.  It's a stepping stone to that dream cabin-home with acreage and water access.

I really do think I am happy with the choices that we have made this year but at the same time I find myself longing for "more".  Actually, I really just long for a different location and I realize that's silly.  "Home is where the heart is", right?  My heart is here, with my family, but there just seems to be a small piece of it that is trying to run off on an adventure.

Those adventures can wait.  Soon enough the kids will be older and we'll be off on family camping trips in the mountains or canoeing in the Boundary Waters.  In time, I will find all the adventure I seek.  I realize now, the best part will be experiencing it all with my family.  For now, we'll stick to our hiking trips at the state parks and exploring our backyard :)