Brainard Lake

Our crew went camping for two nights at Brainard Lake this week. We reserved our spot back in January, you know, because people really love camping in Colorado and you can’t decide on a whim to go camping around here. Nothing like committing six months in advance for a couple nights away in the mountains! At the time I couldn’t even remember who told us to try camping there (now we figured it out), I just had put a reminder in my phone to reserve a campsite at Brainard Lake sometime over the summer. We are SO glad I did and will definitely be coming back! (The reminder in the phone is set on-going for every January now!)

This lovely spot is about an hour and a half away from our home and is gorgeous! We could hear the river from our campsite – a total win! – and loved walking around with it by our side.

Above you see pictures from our time at the campsite. The boys loved chopping firewood for us. We had hotdogs one night and chili the other. Oatmeal balls were our breakfasts.

Micah actually woke up the first morning feeling sick and ended up throwing up (maybe altitude?? maybe two s’mores before bed??), but he managed to still hike at least 6 miles that day and wasn’t slowed down! No symptoms of anything since.

We enjoyed paddle boarding and hiking. We saw four moose (five, if you ask some people…but those people are counting the same moose twice because it was in a different location the second time)! Two of the moose we watched swim across Long Lake – such a beautiful, surreal experience!

Brainard Lake, we’ll see you next July!!

a short, but sweet visit

My brother and his darling family road tripped out to California for Lauren’s sister’s backyard wedding and we were able to host them for a couple of days before they finished their trek back home. It was such a delight! We loved having them around and soaked up time together (games, nerf wars, LEGO, etc.). I will not forget the long hugs or the bouncing-with-joy that greeted me when we *finally* saw them again. It was particularly emotional because they hit two deer (or were hit by two deer…the details are fuzzy) on their drive to see us and we all knew things could have turned out much worse than dents and a missing side mirror!

They were with us for Independence Day so we all enjoyed an outdoor picnic at Aunt Mel and Uncle Joel’s – a fantastic tradition that we missed last year – followed by a walk on the golf course for some fireworks and sprinkler drama (will we get soaked? will we not?).

We loved having their crew in town and are excited to spend more time with them in Wisconsin soon!

Home, Sweet Home!

I’m very thankful for the life we live. It’s lovely to be content just to be back home again, even after an epic trip. 1. We were excited to see the growth of our Dahlia’s in the backyard – I suspect we’ll get some flowers in the next week. 2. Micah prepared this delicious European-style lunch for us and then snapped the pic. 3. And I couldn’t resist a picture of my four double-eggs in a row. Feels like it should be some kind of a record. 4. Ethan got some new books about birds for his birthday and he stays up reading them at night. 5 and 6. I was thrilled to get back to my favorite walks!

The boys are always especially glad to be back in town for Krav Maga. They are loving their classes and the time with their friends. They each earned their first tip (I think that’s what it’s called when they get a new tape band on their belt) and today they got their uniforms and boxing gloves. =)

A dear friend of mine from high school came out to Denver for a vacation with her family and we all snuck in some time together at the Audubon Center.

We also joined some dear friends at Cherry Creek Reservoir for some dinner and time on the water recently. We’d never done this with them before but it sure was fun!

Mikey and I celebrated our 15-year anniversary! We enjoyed sushi and then watched the video my dad made for our wedding reception dinner of pictures of both of us growing up. It’s hard to imagine that we’ve been married 15 years already, but it sure has been a fun adventure!

Next up…a short visit from my brother and his family!

Turks and Caicos

The long-awaited birthday trip to celebrate Grandma Cleve finally took place at the end of June. It was cancelled and rebooked at least twice, so you can imagine the thrill of *finally* getting to take this trip together! Grandma Cleve flew to Atlanta and traveled with Ashley’s family and then we all met in Turks and Caicos for a week of relaxation and gorgeous sites!

Pictures won’t do this island justice. So many of these shots look like we photoshopped ourselves into them. Unreal. I’ll start with some pictures of time at our home-away-from-home on the beach.

We enjoyed playing Bocce at the house…

Working hard to open up some coconuts…

And going snorkeling at the beach:

We ate lots of fantastic food (including the best crepes of my life!!), some all together and some on our own.

We ordered in and bought some cakes to celebrate the birthday girl one of the nights there:

We spent some time exploring the island and various beaches. I especially loved the exploring we did on our last day there. We found some gorgeous spots unlike any other place we had seen before: