My 10th Mother's Day

North Cascades | May 2015

After ten years of being a mother, I find that I'm still learning as much now as I was in the beginning. It grows and changes with the years, of course, but it's often a humbling experience to say the least. There are many frustrating days, but asking forgiveness and saying 'I'm sorry' come into place, working your patience until it seems every last drop has escaped are regular encounters. But it's really truly rewarding. So many of us are fortunate enough to have this memorable experience, others of us aren't. And so for the ones who can't feel it all, just know that I am appreciating my children and being a mother every single moment, that I don't take time with them for granted because we never know how long we have it.

So we had a tiny little weekend with just the four of us, we didn't hesitate to live as much as possible in those two glorious days. That our kids know how to pack for an adventure is a bit of an understatement, they're edging on professional. Kate decided to roll her clothes like a burrito (I have no idea where she learned this, honest) to fit in a gift box with her name on it from a few years ago, because she simply wanted to. All the right amount of clothes, books, and the good stuff. Alyx helps his sister settle in like he's been doing it his whole life, and is undoubtedly her comfort if needed. How can I not be grateful for that?

And they know me well, surprising me with gifts that are so sweet and simple. Honestly, I'm always surprised, the trip alone was more than enough. Together was all I needed. I mentioned to my husband a table and chair might fit in my new little garden space, there didn't seem to be any hesitation, it's certainly my most favorite place to be. I'm anxious to sip coffee there in the morning in hopes of seeing a hummingbird stop by.

I hope there was living in your days, glorious moments of being with those you love, simply because that's really what matters most. I'm still learning, and giving myself grace and knowing it's all going to be okay, tomorrow is a new day. How lucky are we?

See our last Mother's day adventure, HERE.

He Remembered

January 2015 | Wallace Falls

I believe in sentiment. It's inevitably a part of our human nature, and I live for it. Sentiment, however,  cannot be made, not really anyhow. It's how we felt at a specific time in our lives that keeps our hearts beating a little faster when we think about it. It's how a fragrance can take you back to a certain time. It's when you remember something your husband did, and you can't resist falling in love with him time and again. Moments are everything. Like the time he proposed... and I said no. Like the time he sent me a key to his house, letting me know there was a place for me there. Like the times he reaches for my hand and we stay that way for hours. Like the feeling of when we said "I do," and felt like we were the only two people in that moment.

We selfishly celebrate our two anniversaries now. The day we proclaim we fell in love. And the day we wed. Until we married, we celebrated the first anniversary every year. Not with gifts, of course, but with experiences together. The same now goes for our wedding anniversary. So for our "fell in love" anniversary, he planned a camping trip and hike to a new place - just the two of us. We brought our pups, packed into our little Dolphin, and hit the road much later than planned. We took some wrong turns, got stuck a few times, and laughed about it. We hiked through sunshine and fog, reached heights that gave way to the most beautiful views and waterfalls. We stopped along the river and just watched it flow. We stopped in a small town for food and drinks on the way there and back, and I'll be damned if that wasn't one of the best parts of that weekend. Sitting at a small table just the two of us is something I greatly cherish.

I don't show him enough, but I am lucky to call him mine. To be loved so greatly loved by him is one of the best things to have ever happened to me. To love him in return is another. This year we celebrated 7 years of being crazy in love. How lucky are we?!

I married that boy

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. 
-Mignon McLaughlin

September 1, 2013 | Gig Harbor, WA

I honestly cannot believe that one year has passed since this day already. Since the day I finally married this man. We went down a really rocky road to get to this point in our relationship, 5 years in to be exact. I appreciated our time together before marriage however. Because even though most people say nothing really changes, I felt a change. I became his wife. He became my husband. That spoke to me. It said a lot.

It still does say a lot.

As the old saying goes, our first year of marriage has been a rough one. Not because we had a hard time compromising when we moved in together (that was years before marriage for us), but simply that a lot of life happened in that first year. From loss to family troubles, relational issues, and overwhelming responsibility - we really faced a lot of challenge. There was even a decent phase where we were turning against one another instead of turning toward each other. It was not pleasant.

I've done a lot of growing in our first year of marriage, and today, I couldn't love my husband more. I do believe that things happen for a reason, and although that's probably the most frustrating statement ever, I've learned that without certain things happening, we wouldn't be where we are now. I do my best to live right now and try my best to be in the now. Not only that, I've made an active effort to be the best me throughout this year.

I love thinking back to our wedding day. All the effort and time spent on that one day was worth every single bit of it. Even more, I still get all warm and fuzzy when I hear other people talk about how much they loved it! I'm already planning an adventure-styled shoot representing even more of who we are, to celebrate us.

I also want to credit our day to the things and people who really made it the best. Our parents, for being so much apart of every step. Our officiant, Tricia, who was honestly just the sweetest. She loved us so well (and had only met her just before), accepted our invite to stay at the reception and even spoke as we opened the floor after our wedding party. Next was our DJ. I really had no idea how imperative a DJ was to a wedding, but he made our entire day flow from one part to the next and kept the mood light and fun. DJ Dave even kicked off some Cupid Shuffle for us! We loved him!

I could go on, but at the end of the day, we will keep working on our marriage every day and making it work for ourselves and each other. Anniversary road trip pictures coming soon!

Happy Anniversary my love. I'm having a great time doing life with you. I love you.

Big Four Ice Caves

Big Four Mountain, WA | August 2014

Hiking to the Big Four Ice Caves has been on my list for quite awhile, but in all fairness, there's a lot always on my list! Anyway, I was so excited to finally get to this spot and hike with my favorites on a warm summer day. The views just from the parking lot were incredible (the first image). The kids did great hiking just over two miles, having lunch in front of the caves, and carefully exploring around them. Extreme caution is advised as in the winter avalanches occur, in the summer ice/snow melts and drops.

There are waterfalls you can just barely see at the tops of the mountain above the caves, which flow behind and under the ice caves. It's really incredible. Being in the Cascades is breathtaking wherever you go. I'm anxious to explore so much more of this area, I'm not sure you rightfully can get to everything in a lifetime without extreme dedication! One sure can try though ;).

A Picnic at Sunset

August 2014 | University Place, WA

We've been busy to the max. It's been so productively good, but also exhausting. We're taking a crash course in responsible prioritizing, and well, it isn't the most fun thing ever. However, my husband and I have turned toward one another and taken to our family and friends to make the most of our time when we have it. Watching Kate and Alyx squeal in delight around our loved ones was simply the best. It reminded us of how good we have it at times. 

All it took was a picnic with our family at sunset to remind us of those sweet little things.