Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Mabel @ 18 months & our first backyard blooms

About 10 days ago, Mabel passed her 18 month mark. I would imagine posts like these would normally include how much a child is growing & doing, etc. Not our Mabel. She is TINY and although developing at what's considered a normal pace, she is so far behind where Luke was at this age, she still feels very much like a "baby" to us. We don't mind. She continues to charm us.

To celebrate turning 18 months, she walked all the way to Main Street from our house (over a half mile!!) :)

And! The snow has melted once again (hopefully for good this time) to reveal our first flowers of the season -- hurrah! I'd never seen these sweet little flowers until last year when the popped up, carpeting the back corner of our yard in white and purple. After a little researching, we found out they are called Anemones. So thankful for their cheery blooms!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Spring - on hold :(

A couple weeks ago we had a warming up into the 40's and lots of rainy days which essentially melted all but the biggest piles of snow around town and left our nearby mountains looking like this.

We started looking for bulbs pushing up in the brown mud that now constitutes our yard and felt certain Spring was on it's way. Then, this happened ... several times in a row.

Grrr. Of course, I know it's not time yet here for Spring, but I SO SO want it to be!!

At least the snow brightens everything up and covers up the dreary, brown mud; and, when the sun shines ... ah, it is so lovely.

Clearly it was too cold for me to go OUT and take this photo -- do you like the reflection of our living room light on the glass?

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Becoming {more} American

When we lived in Shanghai, we regularly had brunch at Element Fresh, a restaurant with lovely ex-pat friendly food. We always had a chuckle at the name of one of the breakfasts on their menu called "The Big American." It was essentially two full meals on one enormous plate. A small, yet accurate picture of how we are perceived by other cultures.

This winter we were blessed to be given a second car. It is in truly fantastic shape (and has all-wheel drive!) but due to age and miles wasn't going to be worth too much re-sale. How splendid - as it's worth a lot to us! Our Jeep has over 220,000 miles on it and is running well, but we always wonder how much longer it will do so.

Ironically, we really struggled with whether or not to accept this incredible gift. First, because we don't really need it at the moment since Jason walks or rides his bike to school/work and Moscow is a very walkable city for me when the weather isn't awful. Second, even with a gift like this there are always expenses and we really aren't in a situation to be adding to our expenses. Lastly, we realized we rather liked the struggle of having to figure life out with only one car. We felt a bit counter-cultural and we liked having the reminder that in so many places of the world people don't even have one car.

In the end, we knew we would be foolish to pass up such a generous gift and we accepted with hearts full of gratitude. We are now the "Big Americans" with TWO cars to our name. It still seems a bit funny to have cars that combined could seat 10 people when there are only 4 of us.

Two weeks ago I got my lesson ... while Jason was away in Oregon for several days at a conference, the Jeep was very sluggish in starting ... I felt so blessed to just be able to transfer kids & car seats to our second vehicle and drive away without having to cancel my appointment and/or be obsessed with wondering if the Jeep would start when our appointment was over.

Feeling SUPER thankful for this little vehicle (that looks very at-home in the new snow we got last night!) --

Friday, February 24, 2017

The next stop

After nearly THREE full years of living in Idaho (the longest we have lived in one place since 2006), we will be making a move in June to this beautiful location!

Photos from here.

Only 4 hours from Moscow, over in Washington State -- the Bavarian-themed town of Leavenworth, located in the Cascade Mountains. Woo-hoo! Jason has gotten his final summer internship at a company with a location in this pretty spot and we are super excited about spending our summer here and exploring all the surrounding places.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

2016 Fall Family Photos -- Palouse, Washington

Before all the snow arrived, we were incredibly blessed to again have Kelly Taklo take family photos for us. This year we opted for the nearby, charming downtown of Palouse Washington. It is always interesting to see what the snap of a shutter can capture and portray compared to what is actually happening :) I don't think the challenge of trying to take outdoor photos near open streets with small children on cool & blustery day was captured in the lovely photos that Kelly took (thank goodness for that!)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Staying cozy

While me & the kids stay cozy this weekend, this is where Jason's choosing to be.
Camping. In the snow. In a tent.
Brrr! I think it was zero last night ... but so long as he's happy, right?

Friday, January 13, 2017

Having a REAL winter

These days dump trucks full of snow go past our house all day long. I think that when snow is being hauled off by the dump truck load, you're having a real winter. And I love it.

The past two winters we've spent in Idaho have had some snow, but overall been dreary and brown. This winter has been awesome -- it's been snowy and cold and beautiful and fun (maybe less fun for Jason who's done the majority of the shoveling). The brightness and the beauty that the snow creates is really lovely and it makes me happy :)

Nearby at Moscow Mountain -- in early December, I can only imagine how much more snow they've gotten since then.

Even at night, the snow creates so much light!

Luke is a big fan of the icicles :)

On sunny, cold days, things are especially beautiful! The snow sparkles like thousands of diamonds.

And we've even been getting some beautiful sunsets!