Utah’s National Parks

The idea to visit each of Utah’s National Parks with my parents and Grandpa was born a few years ago now. At the time, the drive to Utah would have been treacherous with the potential of a lot of snow. In fact, one of the roads may have been closed for the season or something. The details are fuzzy. At any rate, this trip has been a long time coming and I was exceptionally thrilled to get to do this with my Grandpa, who I used to travel with as a kid. The idea that my 94-year-old Grandpa could make a trip like this with our kids was just too good to be true! We all had a delightful time together.

Little caveat to this trip – I can’t remember which day goes with which picture anymore. Yikes! So, take my journal entries with a grain of salt. The main idea is this: we had an amazing time every day. =D

Here’s a cute little shot of Ethan and his Great-Grandpa shooting the breeze at a rest stop on the way:

We started with Arches National Park. Visiting the parks in the late afternoon is definitely the way to see the most with the fewest other visitors nearby. Plus, the weather is much cooler and more enjoyable in the evening hours!

Here’s a fun comparison from the last time our family was in Arches:

The following day Mike and my Dad went for an early morning hike to see Delicate Arch. Later that morning, we were unable to get back into Arches, so we headed over to Canyonlands.

We spent two nights in Moab and then drove over to Bryce. This may have been my favorite of the four National Parks we visited.

I especially enjoyed the 3-mile hike through the canyons with my dad and the three Cleve Crew boys. Gorgeous.

Lastly, we spent time at Capitol Reef.

These pictures are from various stops/houses along the way. It was very nice to spend the evenings all together at whichever home we had rented for the night.

Pictures can never do this trip justice. It was incredible. So thankful we were able to make it happen!

*I may do another post with a few of Ethan’s pictures since he captured some fun ones and I didn’t grab them, yet.

Fall in Colorado

Fall is my favorite season! It’s been my favorite season everywhere I’ve lived. Wisconsin, Georgia, and Colorado. I especially love fall in Colorado because you really never know what kind of weather you’re going to experience from one day to the next. One day you are wearing shorts and t-shirts and the next day you are sledding, sometimes literally. The weather swings will be very evident in this post. =)

Summer weather…reading in the sunshine while the boys play football with Daddio:

Winter weather…snow, sledding and days of fires (even on school days)!

Summer weather…windows wide open while the boys send messages and snacks back and forth and then later play snow baseball.

Other happenings unrelated to the weather, but related to school instead: Micah reading his paragraph to Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Sal; various pics of schoolwork at the house; and CC dress like a book character day.

More happenings, this time related to various ‘celebrations’ within our home (Dodgers winning, my virtual book club – I finished a fantastic, but long book about the Great Migration, Packers picnics, our democracy and a new president):

Other happenings from life in general (working on balance; a fun comparison pic of Ethan 6 years ago in preschool as a pirate and Ethan now trying to figure out how to keep his hair out of his eyes; Micah’s ship; the boys reading at night before sleeping; Micah playing piano for Grandma Cleve; boys wrestling with Daddio; and more relaxation by the fire):

It’s a good life we’re living. Lots of things that bring us joy. Some days we have to look harder to find the light, but it’s always there.

Finishing up the Summer

Our summer is coming to a close and I think it’s the first summer we’ve not done any traveling or had any visitors since Mikey and I got married. Still, we’ve had a lovely break from schooling and have done a lot to enjoy the local scene. =)

We’ve done some birding – at Bluff Lake, at Rocky Mountain Arsenal, the pond nearby and also just in our neighborhood park.

One Sunday afternoon after virtual church we spent the afternoon camped out at our park. We played yard games, listened to books, played frisbee and ate our lunch there. It was lots of fun!

While we were there, Micah reenacted a photo I took of him about 8 years ago!

Other happenings include constantly listening to audiobooks, Saturday morning sprint workouts at the track, playing games, watching birding webinars (especially fun to do when Grandpa and Grandma are also watching), determining the species of our LEGO birds, cooking, reading with Daddio, lots of yard work (I still intend to do a before and after post at some point…but we are still in the midst of getting things completed!), and doing some things to get ready for the school year (Ethan did a math test to make sure we are doing the right level of Math for him this year as we are switching over to Saxon math for the first time) and reading Farmer Boy with Grandma over Zoom.

We also did another spur of the moment one-on-one. Ethan and Mike rode their bikes downtown to pick up my birthday present – a new bike helmet!! This was Ethan’s longest bike ride to date – 30 miles, I believe. Meanwhile, Micah and I finished George’s Marvelous Medicine and made our own slightly more edible version of medicine.

Before the big trip…

Just thought I’d do a quick “catch all” post from before our midwestern tour during the month of June.

Brothers hanging around the house together.

We had a random snow storm right after my Dad left, so we had to have some hot chocolate and treats since it was May and snowing! =)

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We finished another year of school and I managed to take end of year pictures to compare. Woot.

I went to my cousin’s graduation from High School (he was 10 months old, I think, when I first came out to Colorado for college!) and got some pictures of some of the brothers celebrating. =).

Family bike ride to a favorite park a couple miles away:

A couple birthday parties and a play date during which I got in some snuggle time:

Next up: travels to the midwest.

Friends in Town

Our dear friends from Georgia took an RV trip across the country and we were bound and determined to see them!  We were supposed to join them camping, but we had to bail on that plan when Ethan got the staples in his head.  So, instead, we drove to t