What do you get when you mix 4 little kids, snacks, and 8 hours in the car? A migraine.
To top it off we made a total rookie move and somehow forgot that Jane gets car sick. Don’t worry though, we drove on the most windy mountain road every built. Haha. Luckily there is a general store in McCarthy that had one pack of medicine for the drive home!
In all honestly bough it was such an incredible trip! The drive is constant beauty and wilderness. If we could somehow find a way to make a living out there I would move to Kenny Lake in a heartbeat. It was so amazing out here. We also got to see the Alyeska pipeline, Copper River, 100 beautiful lakes and about 1,000,000 Arctic Hares on the drive to McCarthy. If you are going to make this drive allow enough time to stop frequently along the way so that you can enjoy every bit of Alaska.
Kids are funny creatures though, my husband and I were in awe the entire time but my kids kept asking when we were going to get to the cabin. They could not stop talking about it and planning what they were going to do when we got there. I have to admit though, the cabin was much more than I was expecting. The cabin itself was fulling functioning (read: I can make all the meals at home instead of suffering through restaurants with crazy kids), had an awesome porch with mountain views an the kids favorite, a trampoline! We were in the middle of bush Alaska but thanks to Andy at Currant Ridge we felt like we were home sweet home.
It was so nice to be able to come back to the cabin and unwind after a long day exploring. I really can’t say enough good things about the owner Andy as well. He was so patient with the kids made sure they were happy and comfortable. He has chicken on his property and told the girls they could go out to watch them and check for eggs. Oh man, the look on their face when they saw an egg in the coop was one of the cutest things in the world. They were so pumped.
On each of the windows he has these pink strips hanging down to help the birds see them and because my kids are so young they were not able to just leave them alone. We had Abby take it to him and apologize for breaking one and not only was he so understanding but he took the time explain to her why they were there and why birds fly into windows. It’s the little things like this that really mean a lot to me.
Honestly I can’t say enough about Currant Ridge, everything about our stay was amazing and we can’t want to go back. If you are planning a trip to Alaska you have to add Kennicott Mine to your list with a stay at Currant Ridge! You will not be disappointed.
Taking back my life
The other day I was looking through my old Instagram and Blog posts, they were full of beautiful scenery, amazing adventures, puddle splashing, and running free. To be honest for the past year I have been kind of living in the shadows, living in fear. I’d like to say my hesitation to get out was driven by my children, but in all reality it has all been me. I am the one that just hasn’t quiet gotten over what happened. I am the one that has been holding us back. I am the one that is keeping us in the shadows.
This blast from the past was a wonderful kick in the pants. It got me ready to take my life back. I want to run free, I want to see and do and be full of life again. I know that I will always be a little more guarded and I don’t think that’s a bad thing, but I want to gain the confidence again to get out with my children.
I decided to start small, we went to the Nature Center down the road from our house. It is not packed with people but I knew that I would see someone every 10 minutes or so. This used to be my happy place but I haven’t been for months because of my fear and anxiety.
I am SO glad we went! The weather was decent, mountains beautiful and most importantly the kids, and I, had such a great time! It as so nice to get out, hear the birds chirping and smell the fresh air.
My advice to you is if you are starting small like me, no matter the reason, don’t give up. Find your Learning Zone and take it one step at a time. I am so grateful to all of my old posts and experiences, I am grateful for the push they gave me to get back out with my kids. I pray that we continue to stay safe but that we also are able to build many more wonderful memories.
rubber meets the...dirt
For a couple years now we have talked about getting some kind of off road vehicles but it just never has worked out. Until this year! The stars aligned and we were able to might the jump into the amazing world or ATVs!
We bought them with the thought of having this be our summer and so far it has worked out that way. The weather has been kind of weird the past few weekends but once we get all of our gear on we are plenty warm and don't even notice the wind.
The last two times we went out we took them to the Knik river. It is such a perfect place especially with kids! There is a lot of beach to ride on and explore but also forest with miles of trails to roam. We ended up letting the girls try steering the ATV this past weekend and they totally exceeded my expectations! They started out on the beach so that there weren't as many obstacles to dodge, this was great for building their confidence. After a while on the beach they were able to drive through the trails and honestly they handled it like pros. I'm so glad we let them drive, it not only made it more excited for them but it also helped build their confidence! Now they are sure they have to have their own ATVs haha. Maaaayyybe not yet!
We went back and forth for a long time trying to decide what we were going to buy. We looked at a Ranger Crew, two Rangers, two ATVs and just couldn't decide. After testing out a few options we decided going with a Ranger and an ATV would be best. It really has worked out perfect for us. Here is our pro list:
-two vehicles to drive in case one breaks down
-smaller trailer because it isn't two rangers
-with one Ranger we are able to put Wyatt's car seat in and Kate typically sits next to him buckled in (she also falls asleep just about every time we go out)
-ATV is a little more "extreme" of an experience for the girls
-Ranger has a bed for us to load up chairs, a cooler, kites etc. in.
-install a mountain grab bar on the ATV for the front kid to hold on to.
There are probably more but this is what I can think of right now!
This last weekend we took advantage of the fact that our Ranger has a bed. We took a big lunch, camping stove, kites and paints. It was so nice to be able to pull out the paints while we took a lunch break. The girls were so excited and entertained for the longest time! As an awesome perk I am going to collect them and store them in a big glass bowl/jar so that by the end of summer we have a beautiful colorful reminder of all the amazing things we did. I think it will be the perfect way to get through a long white winter.
I am so excited to share with y'all the new addition to our family. The Logitech Circle 2! This sleek home security camera really has it all and can be my eyes and ears either inside or outside. I am obsessed with it!
Every spring we Alaskans get to experience a unique aspect of life; moose will come into our yard and have babies. During this time we have to be very careful when we leave our house to avoid running into a protective mama and her calves. Thanks to Logitech I can safely check from my phone if they are in our yard before we walk out to the car. The Circle 2 has an amazing range of vision to capture the entire front yard and can even see at night. Connecting it to my phone was quick and simply, in about 5 minutes I had a live feed of everything Circle 2 could see or hear. This is going to be such a wonderful game changer for us.
The Circle 2 does not stop there though, it can also be hooked up in your house to be the eyes in the back of your head! We hooked ours up in the basement to check it out and were both surprised at the peace of mind it provided. While I was in the kitchen prepping dinner I could quickly check on the kids without having to leave what I was doing. Honestly, this was quite hilarious. My husband and I couldn't stop laughing while we watched them play and dance around. Right now Logitech is having a sale on the Circle 2 and I think I just might have to go grab another one to keep permanently down there.
In the picture on the right Kate is getting her work out on. Seriously, I have a feeling Circle 2 will provide hours of entertainment for me. These kids are so stinking funny!
In all seriousness though we will be homeschooling starting in the Fall and I can really see the Circle 2 being a great way to not only make sure they are being safe in the basement but that they are actually getting their work done. I know I will be down there with them most of the time I am teaching but as every busy mom knows we also have a million other things going on. While I run upstairs to put Wyatt down for a nap I can easily check on them to make sure they are making good decisions. But even if you are not a homeschooler, as parents, we all know there is no such thing as too safe. I am so grateful to be able to check in on the kids to make sure that everyone is safe and happy.
Don't forget to head back to my Instagram post and enter the giveaway or check out Logitech directly and pick up your very own Circle 2.
Alaska living with my love and 4 littles