Okay, so I know a few days ago I posted about this dream that I have been having. It isn’t an amazingly unique dream I don’t think but it is something that has been burning in my heart!
I really long to have more freedom to center our lives on each other. I want to travel and surround our lives in the best parts of living. I guess I don’t really have a tangible dream but I have a dream of what I want our lives to feel like. I want to be each other’s world, experience new things, be a unbreakable unit. Some ways I would love to do this are through travel, but not just flying to beautiful places, I want to have a small RV or camper and find hidden lakes and hike gorgeous mountains.
another big part of this though is our daily life. I don’t want to be full time traveling so I want our daily lives to reflect this less is more, unified feeling. I day dream about living in a small simple house on 5+ acres so my kids can roam free. I want to be stuck with each other. I want the kids to be best friends and embrace as much nature as I can. I want exploration to run through our veins. When I am 90 years old I want to be so full of precious memories that I know without a doubt nothing was left on the table.
To me there are few things that are truly precious in this life so I want to make sure that my life is filled to the brim with those things.
So what do I do about this dream of mine?
Honestly I don’t really know. Right now David has a really great job with people he enjoys being around. They have been so good to our family it is hard to think about actually moving on past that job. I am going to start small. I think naturally we start collecting things that we don’t need. There seems to be more toys in the house than what should ever actually be played with, clothing coming out of my ears, and spending money on stuff that is not lasting or fulfilling. Another big thing that will help get us in the right direction is watching our spending on going out to eat and other activities we do as a family. I think if we start really weighing the long term joy that things will bring us we will not only spend less but the things we spend money on will add to our life instead of detract from the end game.
We don’t have the ability to go out and buy an RV right now but we can take small weekend trips as often as possible. Something I am so bad about is not preparing. All week long I know I want to do something big on the weekend but I don’t get myself organized, then come Saturday morning my husband and I are left scratching our heads or completely rushing to get things together. We have all been there right?!
To be quite honest this is a big motivator in Homeschooling. This year was crazy with Jane in school. I knew life would change once kids went into school but I didn’t know just now consuming those changes would be. We would hurry to get her out the door in the morning then by the time she got home she was so cranky we were left with one emotional explosion after another. Every day she would come home telling me that just just wanted to be with our family. I am sure all of us parents get that to at least some extent with our kids but it was different with her, anyways, I guess some of those details should be saved for another day. I pray that with homeschooling we will not only be able to build up our family harmony again but we will have time to do stuff that is truly fulfilling.
It is kind of hard to put my dreams into words because so much of my dreams are about the feeling I want our lives to have. I guess I just really want to take back the reins to our life. Do you ever feel like you have just been going along down this path that everyone tells you is right, but in he back of your mind there is a nagging telling you that there is more out there, a more fulfilling path? There is so much good in this world, I feel like it is up to us to find our passions and goal for our family then do whatever we can to work towards that goal.
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.
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.
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.
If you don't care to read my, possibly unpopular, truth stop now.
Ever since I shared that we were expecting a baby boy I have heard "aw, dad finally has his boy." Such a simple, innocent statement made time and time again by well meaning strangers. Though the truth is, it hurts. Worst than that it planted a seed in my mind that has been fostering some really negative feelings in me for the past 9 months.
"His boy" "His boy". What? Why is it "His boy". Why not "our boy"? I have heard this statement so many times that it has made me think that maybe Wyatt really is more my husband's, maybe he likes him more than me. Maybe they have a connection that I will never understand or be able to match. Maybe I will be old news sooner rather than later.
To top it off I had to stop nursing sooner than I would have liked. Whether I like it or not that severed a bond that wont ever be there again between Wyatt and I. Don't get me wrong, I know we have a different bond and that I am not less of a mother because he is formula fed. My husband can help with feeding Wyatt now which is both wonderful and sad. I am not his only source of life anymore. His father has a special place in his heart, mind and life. A place that once only I filled. Some times it doesn't phase me, I am filled with a sense of pure and complete love that I can't even imagine fading away.
But really, after looking through all the pictures, as we can all see, even if it is true, even if they have a bond I will never match, Wyatt is pretty lucky to be "His Boy".
I mean, really, look at the smolder...
As most of y'all know I was sick for about 3 months straight at the beginning of this year. It was exhausting to say the least. Once it was all behind me I couldn't wait to start refining my nutrition. nourished babe has been such a motivational and educational tool! Unlike most nutrition trackers it didn't put all the focus on the amount of calories you have eaten in a day. It is so much more than that! It focuses on the quality of the food you are consuming and helps you stay on track with vitamins and minerals. I have always struggled with drinking enough water. Some how I am always behind. (Maybe it is living in Alaska, I am cold so I don't want to drink more cold water...) nourished babe has my water intake front and center on the app allowing me to quickly and easily see if I have gotten enough water for the day.
Now, I did not know about this wonderful tracker while I was pregnant but I know it would be a huge blessing to any expecting or nursing mother! Nutrition is so incredibly important when you are growing and sustaining the life of your child. I read this on their website and it stopped me in my tracks:
44% of pregnant women do not reach key nutrition requirements during pregnancy. That’s a scary stat when you consider that nutrient deficiency can have lasting negative effects on health and wellbeing for both you and baby. We’re here to empower you on the journey of involved and impactful parenthood throughout every stage of baby’s development.
I am so proud to be working with a company that is striving to change this and create a better future not only for pregnant mother but for the wonderful babies they are carrying.
To get started on a healthier you is very simple, just go to the app store and download the nourished babe app, use invitation code NCL and you will be off and running!
I am very excited to share with y'all that if you download the app you will have the chance to win a $100 gift card to Pottery Barn Kids. The person that uses this app the most in the next 30 days will be the winner and nourished babe will contact you directly!
Let me know on my recent Instagram post if you are going to give it a shot, I would love to keep in touch and have some friends to help keep me accountable!
Ever since moving to Alaska I have been looking for some kind of bean sprouts or micro greens. Unfortunately they don't sell them in the store up here. Maybe it is weird of me but I would look just about every time I went in hopes that the all the sudden started carrying them. No such luck.
Now enter Hamama Greens.
I was so stoked to find their company and learn how I can easily grow my own! I'm pretty sure I did a happy dance right then and there when they arrived. They are so easy to grow and even my youngest daughter was able to help me set it up. (Check out my Instagram Hamama_Greens highlight to see how it is done)
The micro greens come in this really cool seed quilt, all you have to do is add water to the tray and watch them grow! It is so fun to watch them get bigger every day.
There are different greens you can choose from. We have tried a few and love them all! I seriously put them on everything! They are such a perfect topper and are packed with so much goodness.
To get started with your own mirco green goodness click here. I hope you love it as much as we do!
Since the beginning of January I have gotten strep 4 times and a stomach virus. This has meant a lot of time stuck in bed while my husband takes care of the kids. At first I'm not going to lie, being trapped in bed watching tv and sleeping whenever I felt like it was kind of nice. Weird, but nice. Then the days wore on and it happened again and again. As I am sure you can guess the "nice" wore off really quickly. My baby decided his Dad was his world, the girls learned to use the microwave, pack their own lunches, and even put themselves to bed. (insert my heart litterally breaking) The next huge change was not nursing Wyatt anymore. After going to the hospital once and almost landing there again it was very clear to us that nursing just wasn't an option anymore. It was r.o.u.g.h
BUT a surprising blessing came from it all.
I was blessed with the testimony that I love being a mother. I love being surrounded by my children no matter how messy, loud and overbearing they can be. I love that my life right now is spent raising them, loving them, and being immersed in their spirits. I love that I get to wake up every day and help them learn and grow. They teach me to be more patient, care free, flexible, protective, compassionate, and confident. Through teaching them I am learning to be the best version of myself that I can be.
Honestly, what an amazing and divine calling it is to be a mother. We are raising the next generation of adults. It is just amazing to me. I hope if you have lost that flame of excitement for motherhood you can take a step back for a moment and see the reality of your calling in life right now. I hope you can see those sweet faces of your children and remember that you are not just mom, you are their rock, they comfort, their support, and their haven. YOU are there to catch them when they fall, lift them when they struggle, and celebrate with them when they soar. You are not just mom, you are their world.
If you are a mom you probably know that a key component to finding a good hotel is whether or not they have a pool. My kids go NUTS over a pool. Maybe that is just because we live in Alaska, or many it is a universal kid fascination. This past weekend we went on a stay-cation to Seward and stayed at the Harbor 360 Hotel. We passed so many cool things on the drive, endless mountains, the ocean, wildlife, etc. but what did we hear the entire drive? "Can we go to the hotel now?!" "I want to swim" "Where is the hotel?!" Lucky for these kids they had a pool AND a hot tub. Basically everything we needed for a good weekend.
With our "big" family we have decided to start getting joining rooms instead of all cramming into one room. Perk for the parents is getting to watch tv or talk easily after the kids go to bed and perk for the kids is they feel awesome having their own room. Right when we got to our rooms the great freaked out because there was a dresser with "three drawers just like there are three of us!". I love that it is the little things about hotel living that kids get excited about.
In the past when we have gone to hotels we let the kids stay up late, eat snacks and watch a movie. This always sounds like such a great idea before-hand but by 11:00pm my husband and I are frustrated that the kids haven't "peacefully fallen asleep while cuddling each other".
We finally wised up, brought books with us and decided to treat bedtime like we do every night. Honestly, it made more of a difference than I was expecting. We all cuddled on the queen beds, read books, said a family prayer, tucked each of the kids in then my husband and I crept into the other room to have some adult time. When morning came the kids were refreshed, excited for the day and my husband and I had the energy we needed to be good parents.
Something else that I love about the Harbor 360 hotel is it's location, it is right on the water so when the kids get a little wild we can go out for a walk along the harbor and look at all the cool boats. The last time we were here we lucked out and got to watch an otter playing in the water about 20 feet in front of us.
The Harbor 360 isn't in "downtown" Seward which is something I really like. There are still plenty of things to do and places to eat but it feels a little more connected to nature. Not far from the hotel is a really great beach you can play at and find all kinds of cool sea life. Things like this are wonderful for families because it is free and you don't have to worry about your kids are being too crazy. Really it's a win win. If you are more into shops and indoor activites it is just a short drive to the heart of Seward where there are plenty of stores to walk around and a really nice Sea Life Center.
If you are planning a trip to Alaska or live in the area I would highly recommend planning a weekend trip to Seward and the Harbor 360 Hotel is a wonderful place to call home on your stay-cation.
Also, I am a sucker for murals and looks how amazing these two are on the outside of the hotel. Swoon!!
This post and our hotel stay was compensated by Harbor 360 Hotel but all opinions are mine.