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!!

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:

Our crew took a kayaking tour of the mangroves and saw loads of sea turtles and a few baby sharks. Such a highlight!

Ethan snapped thousands of pictures and I selected a few of my favorites:

And, of course, we got a bunch of group pictures:

Including this hilarious montage (Caleb is SUCH a ham and it’s just so much fun!):

And the best group shots (done by Ethan):

Clearly this was not a trip soon forgotten! =D

In the Meantime…

Some pictures and updates from life at home since it went back down to the four of us.

Ethan and Micah began joint piano lessons. Ethan had been doing them via Zoom all year, but we opted for in-person lessons for their joint lessons for the summer. This was Micah’s first piano lesson and he seems to really enjoy playing! I went walking in a nearby open space.

Sword fighting in the back yard, reading in the living room, and getting excited about our new gear for the upcoming trip!