Friday, September 26, 2014

That Moment When....

...your son buys himself some plastic handcuffs and attaches himself to everything, including the shopping cart at Fred Meyer. It was actually helpful to me to have all 3 kids in one place. I did get some ugly glares from NW parents who can't even muster the word "NO" to their only child, let alone keep close tabs on them. Glad we could bring some shock-and-awe into their Thursday, ha! All in a days' work.

----------------------------------------------------- hike 560 feet up a mountain, you reach the magnificent views at the top and your 4 year old announces (very proudly) "I have to go POO POO MOM!!". Yeah, it wasn't the first time either. We took care of it.

-----------------------------------------------------'re about to throw away the junk mail and your husband informs you that YOU are ON the junk mail! Along with your friend's khaki butt. It pays to get out and explore, y'all!

--------------------------------------- give your 10 month old a chocolate chip cookie, just to keep her quiet while you make her some frozen pizza dinner. Feel free to skip the nomination process and immediately announce me as Mother of the Year. I will humbly accept. 

------------------------------------------------- try a seemingly easy Pinterest project to celebrate the beginning of fall. Your child sobs, falling apart because the stem isn't straight enough, there are holes between the paper, the marker doesn't work, etc. It was the sweetest saddest thing I've ever seen. Dang you Pinterest!


 ....your 6 year old son thinks he's David Bowe. Really, with the British accent and everything.


...your 4 year old "packs" for a vacation 4 days early. He includes the new honey you just bought and his shoes (giving him a legitimate reason to walk around town barefoot until you leave for said vacation).

I've hit that sweet spot in my parenting career when I just laugh at these types of things. I've also learned how to laugh while everyone else is screamin' and cryin'. Because how else do you keep from going crazy!?

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Hiking Table Mountain

Bagley Lakes and Artist Ridge are great hikes for kids. With beautiful views and little to no elevation, kids can run free and parents feel like they've gotten the new perspective they needed. After conquering the easier hikes, we decided it was time to challenge ourselves. Table Mountain (below) doesn't seem too intimidating when you see it from Bagley Lakes. Butletmetellyou, it was a challenge! The perfect challenge. It's 3 miles round trip with cliffs and drop offs the entire way up.

We basically climbed steep switch backs 560 feet up the face of that rock mountain behind Dan in the picture below.

The views of Shuksan were incredible. You can see the parking lot with the "toy cars" as the boys like to say.

The views of Baker were even more majestic.

Elijah was amazed at all the trees growing out of the sides of rocks.

So much stone!!

 We got to the top and it's completely flat. One gigantic rock playground with cliffs all around. You could see Baker, Glacier Peak and even the top of Mount Rainier!  We all just looked around for a while saying "wow!". Being up so high, surrounded by such huge mountains makes you feel pretty small, but in a good way.

There were thousands of flat rocks. It was fun to look around and see the various cairns created by other hikers.

The boys decided to make one of their own.

On the way up, another hiking family gave us some bubbles and Elijah put them to use.

You really cannot beat playtime in the mountains.

On our decent, we took a break while Elijah did some rock climbing. He's really found a passion and he's good at it, too!

Coming down is just as glorious as going up. The challenges are slipping on loose rock, so lots of opportunities to fall off the edge, yikes!! BUT, with the sun setting, it was a glorious time to take things slow and enjoy the views.

As a parent, you take great joy in watching your children learn new skills. I want my boys to be challenged, to try new things and to have confidence and not be afraid. It was amazing to see my boys push themselves. They felt so proud to make it to the top and to literally see the fruits of their labor. I also love that they love being with us, exploring the world and trying new things. 

One more thing: we met a photographer on the top on the mountain and he offered to take a family photo. I think this sums up our life in Bellingham!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Our Canadian Camping Trip

We went camping. In Canada. It was magnificent.

We left on a Thursday at 1pm and managed to miss the usual weekend back up at the border. After driving through downtown Vancouver, we stopped at Whyte Islet Park in West Vancouver and I'm so glad we did! It was the perfect day for a beach hike. This particular beach had a giant rock island just off shore that you could climb too at low tide.

This climb was very steep, more than it would seem from far away.

Lazzy and I rested and enjoyed the views while Dan and Eli climbed to the other side of the island. I won't lie-I felt nervous up there with our spazzy Lazzy. There were very few safe places to sit and many drop offs! I do consider myself an adventurous lady, but with a baby on my back and a 4 year old who tends to run forward while looking behind himself, I freaked out a few times, ha!

On our way back down, we noticed someone paying special attention to some rocks in the water. As we looked closer, we saw they were SEALS!

After our beach pit stop, we headed to our campsite at Porteau Cove Provincial Park. It's about 15 minutes south of Squamish on the Sea to Sky highway (99). SUCH a beautiful drive, SUCH a beautiful campground right on the beach!

Some friends from Bellingham joined us around dinner time. We set up camp and watched the sun set over the mountainous islands of Vancouver.

We borrowed a canoe and had our first family trip out on the water. After 2 hours of absolute beauty and peace on the waves, I wouldn't be surprised if a canoe is what we get each other for Christmas!

Friday morning, we headed north for a hike at Chief Mountain. Apparently this is an amazing place to rock climb, since the mountain is basically one giant boulder. 

We climbed....stairs!!

The hike to Shanon Falls was only a few miles, but it was steep at parts. There were lots of smaller boulders to climb, stairs and mossy trees. I am constantly amazed at how much beauty there is in the NW part of North America!

After the hike, we went into Squamish for an ice cream treat. 

Saturday morning, we packed up camp and headed back south to Vancouver. Our first stop, a hike through Lynn Canyon over the suspension bridge. It's 166 feet over the canyon where we watched cliff jumpers enjoy the warm weather.

We enjoyed more ice cream and spectacular views from Stanley park.

We finished off the day with amazing Indian food in downtown Vancouver. I have to say, the food was totally worth the awkward entrance we made-two tired dirty families fresh off the campgrounds and a hike in the wood, two poopy babies, one crying to nurse. I'm just glad it was 4pm and no one was in the restaurant!! Over all, we had such a great weekend exploring this part of the world with good friends. We'll definitely be back soon!