Our Trip Northwest
We decided last minute we needed an adventure and Paul had 4 days off for 4th of July. So, we quickly planned a trip to the Redwoods, Crater Lake, and then Bellingham.
Redwoods was probably was on my favorite places we have taken the kids so far, other than the insanely long and twisty drive there.
horrible dinner stop at a tiny gas station in the middle of nowhere and crazy hot.
We didn't have to camp and could stay in a hotel that was 5 min from the park entrance, which was quite convenient. Plus, Ruby puked in the bed the first night, so it was quite a relief to have clean sheets to put on and a place to do laundry in the morning.
We did Jedediah Smith State Park and Prairie Creek.
There was never a shortage of tree bridges to walk on.
or trees to look at.
We even found an unexpected lunch/swim spot. Kids had a blast jumping off the little bridge into the river, even though we had no towels or bathing suits.
Best place we found was Fern Canyon.
Plus, this sign was everywhere, which everyone found quite entertaining.
Fern Canyon is one of those places that makes the entire trip worth it.
And we were actually prepared with water shoes for everyone so, we were able to hike much further into the canyon than most of the tourists and had the place to ourselves.
Then right outside The Fern Canyon Trail was the beach, which made for an amazing lunch spot.
I remember visiting the giant Paul Bunyan Statue when I was younger, so I was beyond excited when I realized we were going to be driving right by it.
We then headed up to Medford, OR...This turned out to be the kids favorite night of the trip. We ate at Big Bear Diner, which was in itself a huge event for the kids. We never take them to sit down restaurants. Then a nice couple paid our bill, which the kids thought was the about the nicest the thing in the world. After that we had the entire outdoor pool to ourselves and since the water wasn't actually nasty, I swam too. Then they had their own hotel room (connected to ours).
Since we were semi close to Crater Lake, we figured we should stop, since we didn't know if we'd be back this way.
It was FREEZING when we first pulled in.
Luckily it warmed up as we made the trek down to the lake.
Water was freezing. Kids had intentions of swimming, but no one could be convinced to go any deeper than their knees.
Miles has been buying these animal field guides at all the national park visitor centers, so anytime we come across some sort of animal on the trail he pulls them out and identifies them for us. In this picture we are looking at a lizard.
Then we made the trek up to Bellingham through horrendous Portland traffic and all our kids vowed they never want to see Portland again. :)
Bellingham was my kids #1 thing the entire summer.
Even if we made them hike 5 miles after hiking the previous 3 days. :)
Just a reminder, this is not a National Park. This is just Bellingham. it is obvious everytime I go back why I have trouble seeing the beauty that is here in Utah.
Ruby whined the ENTIRE way up and down. Most she has ever whined. We ended up abandoning our other children at the top and take Ruby back down to the car since she wouldn't stop screaming and crying and people were trying to enjoy this incredible view.
Luckily the other kids were fairly content to be hiking with some of their favorite people.
One of my Bellingham requests was to get out on Lake Whatcom.
Just as paul and I were about to jump in the water to double knee board the boat died. So, we got to row back instead.
The rest of the time was just non stop cousins.
This trip was good for all our souls. I miss these people and this place. it felt good to be back and get to soak it all in for little bit.
I realized I have been quiet on here about our new house, so I figure I need to record some of the details for our Navasard Family History before I forget it all.
We signed the end of September. It was a crazy hard decision. We went back and forth forever on it. Our kids were happy as could be in our 1200 square feet, surrounded by the most amazing people. Did they really need more space? Would a bigger house with our own yard actually make us happier? Would switching from our amazing, diverse title one school actually be better? Did I really want to clean all that house?
We decided to keep things quiet as long as we possibly could, since building a house is a crazy long process.
Paul and I took many late night walks over to check on the progress once we had the kids in bed and I shed many tears, even though I knew we were making the right decision.
We broke and told the kids in December. There was some anger, some tears and eventually excitement.
A few months later we broke the news that they would be switching elementary schools. They took this news a little better than I thought they would.
We then told our neighbors. Once again there was some anger, tears and eventually excitement.
We took many bike rides and walks over to check things out and show the kids we won't be too far from our beloved town homes.
We got our keys the last week of school.
Unpacking was WAY harder than I anticipated. Plus, I could not believe how much crap we fit in our town house.
Our first big goal after the move was to get both cars in the garage, which we happily accomplished less than 2 weeks after closing. Paul is happy to be in a garage again and I am happy that all bikes and scooters are easily accessible.
Macey and Crew surprised me by having the hardest time adjusting. Miles ended up being the easiest with the move, mainly due to the fact that he had his own space to retreat to now. Things I am loving:The views.Watching these 4 play together
. There's been tons of hide and seek, board games, fort building and just overall sibling bonding without the constant flow of neighbor friends. Our dead end street.
Watching the kids make new friends
, even though we all desperately miss our old neighbors. Things we miss:The trees and grass.
We still try to spend some evenings over at the townhomes basking in their shade. having less to clean. shelves for all my books.
Macey and Miles' chapter books have a home.
All of my picture books still look like this, other than the basket that is in each kids' room.
Walking out my door and not being surrounded by my best friends
I have felt a bit isolated here, even though we constantly have people over. I am just not used to living in a normal neighborhood. :) I now know why I never felt the desire to move when i had babies. I couldn't imagine passing nap time here instead of in front of our townhouse chatting with all my friends.
While we can never replace what we had at the townhouses, I am loving our new neighborhood, new ward and I LOVE the new house.
I have faith this house and neighborhood will be just as good to us as our last one.
Being in the new house this summer has actually made the chaos of summer easier to handle, even though we lost our amazing shady green space.
The kids are loving the new neighborhood.
There is a constant flow of children in and out. I had to invest in an air freshener for the basement due to the smelliness of the pile of 8-10 year old boys that can usually be found down there.
Lunch time discussions of bugs and komodo dragons.
and if it's not too hot I kick them outside for a little bit. Miles and Crew have loved introducing their friends to Battle Bots.
Paying the premium for the dead end street has paid off.
Since we spend a lot of time on our front porch and we destroyed our astro dome chairs by leaving them on our deck all winter, we decided to get them recovered.
They are even more amazing now!
And we can just hose off all the popsicle stickiness the kids keep covering them in.
We have loved having a table where we can get games and 1,000 piece puzzles set up. It was an exciting day when we finally finished this puzzle.
July means lots of pool days.
We took the waterslide over to the town houses for the day.
Kids played non stop for hours, even though most of them are well past the ideal height for our little blow up slide. :)
It was so nice to be back with my people sitting in the shade, yelling at kids to calm down, and chatting. The thing I miss most is sitting in the shade with my best friends and watching our kids play. I have found I have much more time on my hands now that I am not socializing in the late afternoons like I used to. :(
Other exciting Happenings:
Playdate with Tajen.
Mall Splash Pad.
Pioneer Park Splash pad.
Bonus, it was a nice 10 degrees cooler than in the valley.
Picnic at the Library.
Giant Stag Beetle Discovery.
I finally unpacked the dressups.
Paul and I walked to dinner in the rain. Then we got to eat outside on the patio during the storm. Pretty perfect summer evening.
And so many games.
Love this little Card Shark.
We ended the month with sending Macey off to a week at Mountain Camp.
June. My favorite month in Utah.swim lessons:
Like the first 2 weeks of every summer, Julianne and I signed the kids up for 9:00 swim lessons.
The boys' teacher wasn't the most engaging, so they spent a lot of time hitting each other with the kick boards. They at least loved it. :)Pond Days:
Lots of Pool Days
I am entering a very nice pool phase. I've actually gotten to sit in my lounge chair for almost half of the time on each pool trip!
Ruby fell asleep as we were gathering all the kids from all corners of the pool.
We also lucked out to have friends with a neighborhood pool and we jump at every opportunity to hang out there. This is what summer is all about. Playdates:
We aren't used to having lots of people over to our house and then actually play inside. it's been fun. One week we had 10 kids for lunch everyday but one. It's amazing having all this space and not feeling claustrophobic or like they are completely trashing the place.
I will be happy when this dirt is finally gone though!
Couldn't find Miles and Gavin one afternoon...they were taking turns reading DogMan outloud to each other. :)
Tajen is always a very popular guest.
All 4 kids are always fighting over him and he is a very good sport and makes sure to play with each one.
best playdate(s) of the month though was getting to have Crew's best friend Madden over. He moved to Alabama, so we were so happy he came to Utah to visit.
Crew and Madden together are just my favorite. They just have such similar temperaments and are both just the sweetest 5 year olds ever. We miss Madden so much!
And then other friends take pity on us and our treeless dirt yard and invite us over to play in their backyards where we don't melt because it's shady. Summerfest:
We've got our routine down and it's barely stressful anymore.
Miles knows how to work the parade too and came away with the most stuff. Shirts, fidget spinner, frisbee, icecream, coupons, magnets...that kid knew what he was doing. Father's Day:
The kids made Paul a cute poster about all the awesome dad things he does and we all made him Oreo cookies.
It's barely stressful cooking in my new kitchen with this bunch. Nature:
One of the best things about summer is our girls nights shift from dessert places only, to hiking, followed by dessert. Townhouses:
We still frequent the townhouses to see our friends and bask in their shade.
We were ecstatic to still get an invite to potluck and movie night.
I am shedding tears less frequently about moving. But, oh my goodness do I miss these people! I do enjoy the over the top greetings we receive when we come back though and Roman running down the sidewalk yelling "Kelsey, you're home". :)
I think this place will ALWAYS feel like home and the moment I smell those trees I am instantly relaxed. Birthdays
Crew and I had birthdays.
Crew will get his very own birthday post, because he's pretty much the best.
Macey and I got pedicures.
Ashley and I took Miles and Penelope to their beloved 2nd grade teachers wedding reception.
And then Paul made me a quadruple layer chocolate cake. Ruby
In case you were wondering, Ruby is still crazy, wild and a pain.
I really don't know what to do with her most days. She did get into the preschool I wanted in the fall, so hopefully they can get her in line for me. :)
She loves to stand on the counter and throw things. Here I caught her making her barbies fly.
august part 1
We had a packed 3 weeks of August before school started with our farewell to summer activities. Children's Museum
This was actually our only visit all summer, I try to avoid Thanksgiving Point during the summer. Lemonade Stand
These 2 had been begging all summer to do their lemonade stand/toy sale. The stars finally aligned and I had the energy to assist. I think they used about 10 packages of koolaid and made a nice chunk of change that was immediately spent at Toys R Us.
Then the left over lemonade was passed to the neighbors over the fence. The kids exhibited some pretty good teamwork. Swimming at Gavin and Carmen's pool
They have the best neighborhood pool. Gets deep enough for diving, never too crowded and perfect company. Hiking
Ruby has fallen in love with Macey this summer and it makes my mama heart happy.
Utah kills me sometimes, can't believe this is in our backyard. We could even see our house from the peak.
More mom hikes. These might be the best girls nights I've ever had.
Hiked a few miles up the timp trail.
good for the soul. Especially the grouchy, stressed out, overwhelmed, mom soul. Eclipse Watching
It was actually cooler than I thought and so glad it happened before they went back to school, so i got to experience it with these guys. Soaking up our lazy neighborhood days and nights
Sometimes it gets so CRAZY out front. There's screaming, whining, fighting, lots of weapons...but then other times it's like this.
all ages playing legos together nicely for hours. Love these kids.
Last potluck and movie night to celebrate the closing of an awesome summer.
And sometimes, when I'm feeling really nice I let neighborhood kids inside and actually give them food. Date Nights
I love summer dates because we get to spend them outside!
Paul found this awesome biking ghost tour and we convinced Trina and TJ to do it with us.
The stories were kind of scary, but the scariest part was riding through the streets of provo without a light and on the very skinny tires of a road bike. Trina and I didn't know if we were going to survive, but it was all worth it in the end.
We celebrated our anniversary with brunch, since Paul had to work until about 10:30 that night.
Julianne and I took the girls to dinner and school shopping. These drinks were the highlight of the night.
they are getting old. We don't always play:
I took my last trip to Costco with 4 kids. We ate lunch there to celebrate.
They've spent a lot of chore time cleaning out our always trashed car.
And then Michelle invited us to go to St. George
with her and the kids.
It was nice to actually have some time to hang out with Michelle.
There was lots of swimming, game playing, eating and watching movies.
We went to an amazing park and enjoyed it until it got WAY too hot, which was about 10:45.
Our group shot of the trip:
The kids had an absolute blast, since they were all with some of their best friends, just like me. :)
We ended the trip with a visit to the St. George Temple and a melt down by Ruby.
I'm sure you've noticed Miles is missing from these pictures. I left Miles behind with Paul, he's been rough this summer for me and he doesn't have a friend that matches up like the other kids, so it worked out to leave him behind.
don't feel too bad for him. Paul took him to the waterslides, arcade, and lots of wii and movie time.
It was nice to have a break and he was thrilled to get to hang out with just Paul.
That's not even our entire month, that's just the first 3 weeks of August. Next post, Bear Lake and back to school!