A “First” Camping Trip

Up to this summer, we’d gone camping with my cousin & her family, but we decided we needed to ‘go it alone’ & try camping on our own just our family, so early in the summer we made reservations for a campground. About a week before we were due to leave, we received an email saying that the reservation was being canceled as they were currently evacuating the campsite due to a forest fire nearby. We searched around & found a campsite with openings & made a new reservation. Unfortunately, this one was about four hours away.

The Friday of our camping trip, we just couldn’t get out of town. Things kept happening that kept us from leaving, so when we finally got away at 5, I had resigned myself to putting up the tent in the dark (or rather the light of the headlights) around 9 that night. Well, due to a horrible accident that left us sitting on I-5 for probably an hour and a half (and not just sitting, but walking around outside the car on the freeway), we finally arrived at our campsite after 11. We put up the tent with the help of our headlights & went to bed.

Around 4:30 in the morning, I woke up needing to go to the bathroom (*Sigh!* Definitely a down side to camping!). As I was putting on my shoes, the beam of the flashlight I was holding caught a huge pile of scat! As the reservation had mentioned that bears were in the area, I immediately decided I didn’t really need to go that bad and quickly went back into the tent and eventually went back to sleep. In the morning, I woke up & could hear something rustling in the bushes and I could tell that whatever it was, was HUGE! I sat up & saw…

IMG_1102 A COW!!!! It was an open range and there were cows wandering around our campsite! And yes, in the light of day the pile of scat I had seen was definitely a cow pie, but to be fair I didn’t know there were cows in the area & bear scat doesn’t always look that different from cow pie depending on what they’ve been eating!!! It was certainly an exciting way to start our camping trip!!


A little cutie showing off her frog lovey!

After breakfast, Micah headed off to hike a portion of the PCT, so the kids & I hung around the campground.


Playing in the dirt


Making letters

The kids & I went for a little hike that wound around the spring by our campsite


Looking at the water



Taking a break!



SO FILTHY!!!!! (She LOVES to play in the dirt!!)



Around dinnertime, the cows came back through the campground again! It was so strange!


IMG_1126 After dinner, we we took the kids to Willow Lake to go swimming! Mount McLoughlin was beautiful in the background!!



Cute little swimmer girl!!



We could see the huge plume of smoke from the Crater Lake fire!


The next day we didn’t have much time to spend around the campground as I had a funeral to get back for, but we did stop in Butte Falls & see the falls!



Butte Falls

We survived our first camping trip just the four of us and really didn’t lack for much of anything, so I think we can count it a successful trip for the books!


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A Total Eclipse!

We were lucky enough to be in the path of Totality for the Eclipse! And Micah had the day off of work, so we pulled out the camp chairs & enjoyed the eclipse from the front yard!


Cool dude rocking his eclipse glasses!


We talked about holding the glasses against your face so that the sunlight couldn’t get through! She took us very seriously!





I really hadn’t known what to expect, but it ended up being way more awesome than I had anticipated! I’m so glad we got to experience it!


IMG_5160 Family photo during the totality! (People were shooting off fireworks, thus the reason my kids have their ears covered!)



The sun is coming back (but you can see that the street lights did come on behind us. Even with those on we could still see stars during the totality!!)

So amazing! And so thankful that we didn’t have to travel anywhere to see it!

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A New Carousel

Albany has a new carousel & we went to the grand opening! It was beyond crazy with tons of people all waiting for a ride! Thankfully, there were other things to do besides just wait in line!


There were two different bounce houses


There were princesses around to get pictures taken with


We took a break from the festivities to have lunch in the park & afterwards the kids danced on the stage!


We waited a long time to get faces painted! (And still only Audrey managed to get hers done because she cut in line unknowingly!)


Cute little butterfly!


Finally made it into the room with the carousel!


Audrey chose to ride a giraffe! (Ezra chose to ride a salmon, but he moved too quickly for me to get a picture of him!)


It was fun to be there on the carousel’s first day of business, but I think we’ll wait for it to become slightly less of a novelty before we try riding again!

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Camping with Cousins!

Now that we’ve gone once, we can call it our annual camping trip with cousins!! Last time we made a reservation, but this year my cousins wanted to go with a walk-up spot. This ended up being the best decision we could have made! Because of the heat that weekend (the hottest weekend of the summer) many campsites had a “No Campfire” rule, so my cousins were able to call around & find a campsite that still allowed fires. Plus, it was an amazing spot – so many trees you couldn’t see anyone else around us & our own person trail that led to this:


Big Lake



Putting up the tent



The kids had a blast in the lake



It wasn’t terribly warm, but that didn’t matter to them!



Roasting English Muffins for breakfast!



The kids did a LOT of playing in the dust!



They were SUPER dirty!!! But they had a great time!!






Lots of paper airplanes were made & flown!



Our “neighbors” were super nice & let us borrow their kayaks! The kids did a great job & loved using them!






Playing games by lantern light



Beautiful view of Mt. Washington


Another successful camping trip in the books! This was by far dustier & hotter, but I think I prefer that to rain!

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Carousel Party

Our friend had her birthday party at the carousel, which the kids were ecstatic about!


Riding the Carousel!



My one-year old nephew LOVED it!!! My three-year old nephew was a little less sure about it. I have the cutest nephews EVER!!!



After the party, we walked across the new footbridge that just opened this summer!

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Day trip to the Oregon Coast

We had signed up Ezra to attend another family day at the Marine Hatfield Science Center. Micah & I both had it in our minds that the family day was on a Saturday, but when we showed up we found out that we had missed it as it had been the day before! Thankfully, Ezra took it in stride and we still had a fun day at the Coast!


 IMG_1013 Taking a picture of ourselves at the park where we stopped for lunch (& ended up doing some unplanned whale watching, which included seeing a whale tale!!!)


Audrey exploring the touch pool at the Marine Hatfield Science Center

We did a bit of school shopping for Micah, which ended up taking longer than we anticipated! Then we stopped by 101 burger for a delicious dinner as usual!


No trip to the coast is complete without playing in the sand & water!



In spite of the wind, we had a fun time at the Oregon Coast!

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Texas, Day 4

Our last day in Texas, but we filled it full!!

IMG_1002 First stop, the local coffee shop where my husband got a drink comprised of Dr. Pepper & a shot of espresso! It tasted horrible to me, but he loved it so much we had to return to the coffee shop before we flew out that night.



We drove by the house that Micah lived in when he was in 1st – 3rd grade!


Next up, was the school that Micah attended!



Then we stopped at the Cowboys Stadium! We had decided not to spend the time or money on a tour, but we certainly spent a lot of time in the pro shop!



Micah & Tom Landry!



Family photo!!!



Then we stopped for lunch at the MOST AMAZING taco place I’ve EVER eaten at! It made me sad that we hadn’t eaten at Torchy’s Tacos for breakfast, lunch, & dinner the entire time we’d been in Texas! (photo taken from internet as I was too busy feeding my face to stop & take a picture!!!)

Then it was back to our friends’ house to pack up & head to the airport for our flight home! We were sad to leave, especially our kids as they were not excited to leave their new friends!


Poor kids! It was midnight by the time we got to Portland, which felt like 1 a.m. to their bodies!!! 



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