Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A room with a view -- Canoe camping @ Priest Lake

Saturday morning we got to wake up to this spectacular view (from our tent!)

I won't lie ... the evening before had been rough. We'd had a beautiful paddle over with all of our stuff for two nights of camping, but arriving in the evening when it was 1) time for dinner, 2) time to get the tent set up and 3) time for Luke to be winding down in the midst of him being over-excited and into absolutely everything was not a good combination for any of us... his 5 am wake-up the next morning was a bit of a jolt as well, but when you wake up to the above view it's pretty hard to not be stoked at where you are.

Overall, we had a fantastic weekend camping at Bartoo Island -- it is over 200 acres with more than 20 campsites scattered along it's various shores. A really great place to stay cool in the heat and so much fun to explore.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Hermanas guatemalteco se reúnen

To say it was incredible to see my Guatemalan sisters last weekend would be a huge understatement. It still feels a little surreal to know that it actually happened. I am so so thankful for the opportunity to see them and build some memories ongoing together.

The only sad part was that it was a family weekend and I was there without my family. While it was really nice to be out on my own, it was strange (and a little lonely) to be the only one there without my husband and children. Besides the fact that it meant Jason didn't get to see his friends and no one got to see how much Luke has grown up in the past year...a little bittersweet, but I just tried to focus on being thankful for what I had vs what I didn't have :)

It was my first time really getting to spend much time in Denver and due to the heat, we headed for the hills (as if being a mile high wasn't high enough), to Evergreen. Exploring that area and the Mt. Evans area nearby (a 14,000 foot peak you can drive to the top of!)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Happy Father's Day

To the man of my dreams, who is also an amazing father!
And who has not had a proper Father's Day for the past two years -- last year we were in-transit from Guatemala to the USA and this year he was watching Luke so I could have a weekend away to visit with friends. Again ... an amazing husband & father. I love you Jason!

Friday, June 19, 2015

On my way ...

... to see these amazing ladies!!

I am thrilled to be heading to Denver (on my own!) this morning for two whole days with my wonderful friends from Guatemala. I already know that the time will not be long enough, but am just SO SO thankful to get to see them at all. And, specially thankful for Jason's mom who will watch Luke (all day!) for me today while Jason is at work. It is sad for Luke not to get to come and visit with Mel & Amber's kiddos since they are the first friends he was really aware of, but summer ticket prices were just too expensive for both of us to go ... and of course Jason would have loved to come too, but instead I get a weekend away on my own with some dear friends which is going to be absolutely lovely.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Day camping at Bartoo Island

Priest Lake is home to several islands that are set up for boat-in camping. We've been wanting to try this out with Luke and had hoped this past weekend would be a good first try. Unfortunately, Luke was just getting over a nasty cough and I was still fighting it so we decided that camping probably wasn't the best choice, but wanted to check out one of the islands anyhow. We made a day trip out and had a great time with basically the entire beach to ourselves. Of course, once you're in a canoe it generally takes longer to get somewhere than you thought -- 2 hours round trip wasn't too bad, but for this girl who hasn't paddled in a while I wasn't the best teammate ;-) Thank goodness Jason is in decent shape!

We had a great afternoon playing on a gorgeous beach, roasting hot dogs, exploring, making s'mores and were sad to go. A perfect reason to go again.

We have a trolley for our canoe and just wheel it over from our house since we're so close to the beach.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Lovin' Priest Lake

Since arriving here we have been so incredibly stoked by all the beauty around us and also the wealth of recreational opportunities at our fingertips. Hiking, biking, canoeing and lots of time at the beach! Of course it helps that this is a fabulous time of year to be here - it was 90 degrees this week. Woo-hoo! I have been SO SO ready for some warmth!

I ♥ summer!!!

Thanks to Jason's parents for getting us the awesome bicycle cart for Luke! They've already been up for a visit, along with Jason's sister, nieces and other family friends -- the Sandins.

 Jason ... heading out for his week-long fire training camp last week. Not even trying to look sad about leaving us :) He had a great time and now has the entry-level certification for wildfire fighting. Pretty fun stuff!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

This trailer life

After two weeks we are feeling pretty settled into our new trailer-home. Jason was gone all week last week for a wildfire training camp, so needless to say Luke & I are both very glad to have him back this week.

For those of you who have wondered what a FEMA trailer looks like, here are some photos :) I often find myself thinking about those for whom one of these becomes their replacement home after a natural disaster and it sobers me up a bit. We are super happy to be living here and find it fun to experience a type of housing different from any we've lived in yet ... but I know that most who end up living in one of these have lost everything they have and that knowledge haunts me a little bit, making me thankful to have the personal things we were able to bring up in our jeep when we moved.

We've been loving the extra space this has compared for our last two homes. It has a 3rd bedroom/office which is awesome!  That combined with sparse furnishings and the fact that we only brought what we could fit in our jeep make it feel very, very spacious.

Down the hall to the right of the living room are two bedrooms - Luke's & ours. Not overly roomy, but more than enough space for us.

And beyond the kitchen, laundry machines!! LOVE those! Plus very roomy bathroom and an office/guest space.  Luke's room and the bathroom are the only rooms with doors :)

We live on a compound with a full-time employee in a more traditional home, a bunkhouse full of unmarried forestry/fire interns that Jason works and the shop/equipment for everything handled by the Dept of Lands.

We have been enjoying many aspects of living here, one of them is that just beyond our trailer lies a gorgeous grass airstrip which comes equipped with it's own campground for those who fly in. We can see the planes take-off and land from our windows which Luke absolutely LOVES to watch. If we get tired of walking the 200 yards to the lake-beach, we can access the park-like grass of the airstrip for fun with Luke.