Carter Turns Four

Three started out a little rough for our Boogie. He moved, had a baby sister, and started a bilingual preschool. He had a hard time transitioning to school, and we were called into meetings with teachers several times. But, after a few months, Carter seemed to settle into his new routine and his teachers finally started to see his sweetness and smiles. Thank goodness.

I’ve loved watching him grow as a big brother. He adores his sister and can make her laugh harder than anyone else in the world. He loves kissing her, putting his arm around her, poking her in the belly button, blowing bubbles in the bathwater with her, giving her goodnight kisses, and chasing her around the house.  Continue reading “Carter Turns Four”

Ten Days in Colorado

This trip was inspired by my credit card. It has a beautiful background of snow-covered mountains that I assumed were someplace impossibly far away. When I learned the mountains were in Colorado, I decided we had to pay them a visit. Andy would like everyone to know that he knew all along they were the Maroon Bells in Colorado…to which I say, why did it take him five years to share this information with me?

To be honest, I really wanted to travel internationally this year, so initially, I wasn’t as stoked about Colorado as I usually am for our family adventures. But, Colorado won me over right away. I wish we could have stayed longer; I feel like we just barely scratched the surface. Continue reading “Ten Days in Colorado”

7 Reasons to Take Young Kids Camping

Andy and I start taking our kids camping when they are about four months old. Carter’s first time was on an outdoor ed trip I led with students, and I ended up sleeping with him in the back of an Expedition. Aila’s first camping experience was last year’s two-week road trip up to Olympic National Park.

This year, our first camping trip was in Sequoia National Park with my brothers and their partners (and Smurf!). Camping with kids is not exactly a relaxing experience (looking at you firepit of death), but to us, it is worth the extra planning and stress. Here are a few reasons why: Continue reading “7 Reasons to Take Young Kids Camping”

Staying at Sea Ranch

We celebrated my step-dad’s birthday and kicked off our summer with a weekend trip to Sea Ranch with my family. My brother, Dave, was in town after road-tripping from New York with his girlfriend, Emily, and his doggie, Smurf. I’m not sure if the kids loved Smurf or the ocean more.

My Stake Conference Talk: Willing to Be Disturbed and Willing to Disturb

The Backstory
A few weeks ago, President Hancock (side note: a man who gives me hope in the Church, and whom I deeply admire) asked me to speak at the adult session of stake conference. Talk about whatever you want, he said. I felt honored, blessed, excited and overwhelmed. I would be camping with my family for most of the time I had to prepare, and the conference session fell on same day as Carter’s fourth birthday party. It was a veritable outpouring of blessings (and work!) in a short period of time.

Preparing for the talk was perhaps the greatest blessing of all. I hauled my quad to Colorado as we camped all over the state, reading scriptures and swatting mosquitoes each night by lantern light as the kids slept in our tent. It was a welcome reminder that there is no excuse for shallow scripture study. Deep and meaningful scripture study connects my Spirit with God and gives me power. Recommitting to make my daily scripture studies more meaningful…starting now.

As I prayed fervently for inspiration, the Spirit guided me to study specific topics and read the book of Matthew. I didn’t receive any clear direction for my talk for several weeks. Instead, the Spirit seemed to tell me, as long as you are spending time asking for answers and searching the Word, inspiration will come.  Continue reading “My Stake Conference Talk: Willing to Be Disturbed and Willing to Disturb”