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When major changes happen in my life I find it comforting to listen to the Beatles. Mostly because its all I listened to growing up, so there is the nostalgia in that. There is a line from the song “Two of Us” that has been running through my head a lot lately.

“You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.”

quite nice

Some of you may have noticed that I missed a very major milestone on this here blog. In defense, I often miss the big ones, because, well those are the ones that are paired with busy days.

My baby girl is growing up!

We camped in Moab, Utah for Maiya’s birthday. I would show you the pictures, but I just saw them myself today. I promise, I will post them, Moab was beautiful, and we had an awesome time. It might just take me a few months. ūüôā

Maiya thinks that her birthday is in the desert, in Moab. I don’t know how we are going to top that next year!

We are moving back to Michigan at the end of June. We are constantly thinking about the future and what direction we want to be heading. We want to live a more simple life, close to family, lots of time spent enjoying nature. Taking the leap to Clint being a freelance illustrator has been the scariest hurdle. Moving back across the country with two young kids is the other thing that has been holding us back. So, what the hell, let’s do both! The logistics of making these things work are pretty daunting. To start, we are moving back in with my parents until we find a house. I am a total control freak. There are so many things right now that I don’t know the answer to. So many things that I can’t even try to figure out until we get back to Michigan. All of this feels to me like we are jumping off a very high cliff. Some days the anxiety is almost paralyzing. Thinking about the really big picture, I know that we are doing the right thing. It will work out. This is the right direction for our family. Thinking about everything that needs to get done to get there is very scary. Right now we just need to break it down into what needs to get done right now. Ok, what’s next? I am so thankful to have a strong husband who works so hard to take care of us. Also, our families our so loving and supportive. The older I get, the more I appreciate the value of family. No one can replace your family.

The past 3 1/2 years here have been an amazing journey. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. We have grown as a family (in many ways-we are coming back with a daughter and a dog!). We have met some phenomenal people that are very dear to my heart. And we have had some life-changing experiences. This place can be other-worldly, but I miss water and humidity, and green, and deciduous trees and cider and donuts in the fall, and most of all-my family.¬†It’s been fun Colorado, but its time for us to go home.

We had a wonderfully low-key Easter this year. I bought way too much candy. (easter candy shopping and that certain time of the month should NEVER collide). The kids were relatively well-behaved because yes, they are kids, and the puppy, well yes, she is a puppy. PUPPY! I forgot to post about the new addition to our family. Well, add that to the list of posts I have written in my head that can’t seem to make it to the interweb. Let’s just pretend you knew we had a puppy and I will fill you in later about that. So yeah, Easter weekend, 2 kids + puppy. Let’s back up here a minute. We haven’t been doing much lately. Meaning, I have been overwhelmed with lists and stacks and dust and things peeing and laundry resulting from things peeing and blah, blah, blah. The busier we get, the more I realize that I am rushing the kids around resulting in lots of frustration on both ends and more than occasionally me yelling “would you hurry up?! I’m doing this for you!” And that’s when I had to take a step back and realize that the kids just want to hang out at home as much as I do. So that’s what we have been up to. Hanging out, making weird crafts, reading stories, building legos, doing science experiments and trying to have more fun together. The dog (as much as she likes to pee on the carpet) has been really awesome at reminding us to get outside and run around like fools. Lesson this month: Less is more.

Here are some sweet pictures Clint took this weekend. Maiya wants to know where Peter Hoppintail went?

Getting ready to tour an elementary school, we hop in the car and Maiya says
“this is going to be FUN!”
Mason: Yeah, it will be, if you stop talking like I asked you to.
Maiya: but I’m a gurrrll. I talk!
Mason: I know, but you don’t have to tell me everything!
And then they went back and forth for a good five minutes. Maiya is not planning on limiting her talking anytime this century.

I told Mason he shouldn’t mess with an electrical outlet because he might get shocked.
“What will happen? It will hurt really bad and then my bones will show?”

Maybe we watch a tad too much Tom&Jerry?

Lac Lamond

We haven’t done much off-roading this summer, but today made up for it. We took a challenging, very rocky trail in the mountains that lead to a lake with a waterfall at about 11,00 feet. There is actually a lake above that waterfall also. Amazing to think that all of the water in this lake is snowmelt.

Here is a link to more pictures from our drive today.

IMG_9471

We ¬†generally like to avoid people and major goings ons during holiday weekends. This year we changed it up a bit with a STAYCATION! Are the news stations still using that word? Because I LOVE it! Isn’t it just the greatest when the news takes something that people already do and coins a cute little word for it and then uses that word so much that it must immediately be added to the urban dictionary?

“What are you doing for the holiday weekend?”

“Oh, you know, stick close to home, spend time with the kids.” ¬†or in Newspeak ¬†“We’re having a STAYCATION!”

Friday and Saturday we had a garage sale. Yes that did involve people coming to see us, but the key is they gave us MONEY! It is such a great feeling to clear our all of the junk from your house and end up with a clean house and some petty cash to spend.

Friday night, Clint went on a brewery tour in Denver with his friend. If you enjoy beer on any level you would love Denver. I however do not enjoy beer. While the boys were out we had pizza and wine (juice boxes too!) and ice cream sundaes. Now that is my kind of night! We also had the honor of introducing Mason’s best friend to Star Wars.

Intense focus

Sunday we ¬†packed a picnic and took a drive into the mountains. Somehow we made a wrong turn and ended up in Tiny Town. How could we pass it up? It’s WORLD FAMOUS!

Big Ford, Little Ford

Babyzilla!

Let me tell you, if it wasn’t for the ridiculous level of excitement from the kids I would be seriously upset about the $16 it costs me. Well the kids loved it and it ended with a playground. When you are a kid, what could be better? So yes, it was worth it.

Eventually we ended up on Guanella Pass at about 12,000 feet sourounded by almost 14er mountains. Kinda makes you feel small. And a little lightheaded-damn altitude.

Patches of snow that never melt

I got this mountain!

lack of oxygen happy smile

Best part of the weekend was Sunday when we had ICE CREAM FOR DINNER! We headed over to Sweet Action in Denver and experienced ice cream nirvana. Maiya got Milk Chocolate, Mason got crazy and got a sugar cone with Brown Sugar Banana ice cream with rainbow sprinkles. Holy cow! That ice cream was like the summer version of the best homemade banana bread your Grandma ever made. I got peanut butter ice cream with chocolate covered pretzels. Clint got the winner. Stranahans Whiskey Brickle in a warm waffle cone. I don’t know who Clint thinks he is, but he got the fresh off the press hot waffle cone. I don’t know what the urban dictionary defines as a staycation, but mine always starts and ends with ice cream.

More pics here

I finally got around to uploading the photos from Aunt Juju’s visit. I put them all up on SmugMug here. I even added captions! (If you are new here, or just haven’t noticed, the photos on the left of this post always link you to our most recent pics folder on Smugmug. Check it out!) Also, all of the really good pics were taken by Julie.

More to come. Uncle Neil and Aunt Stephie have been here since Saturday and Aunt Pammy has been here for a couple hours now. Right now all 3 of them are fighting over what to do with Maiya’s giant booger. It’s a good thing they weren’t here last week when Maiya had poop so far up her back it called for an afternoon bath!

Yes, I am being a bad hostess and hiding out upstairs. I am enjoying the break!

We are gearing up for an almost two-month stretch of visitors. We will have a couple days here and there with just the 4Fords, but for the most part we will be an overflowing house. Aunt Juju was here first. She left last Wednesday. We were all so upset to see her go that we went and got the plague and sent it home for her and Uncle Andrew too. I bet everyone else is real excited to come see us now! I am doing my best to sanitize the house, plan Maiya’s 2nd Birthday, and be a nice hostess, among my normal motherly duties. For now, here are some nice pics of Aunt Juju and the kids. Soon, I will upload the awesome pics Julie took for us.

Little Man Ice Cream!

serious adventure trip

7 years ago, this 2nd day of March, I walked across a tropical beach in Jamaica, the hot sand beneath my bare feet, ocean breeze blowing through my (then red) hair, Bob Marley playing in the background, old European men in speedos watching, and crossed over to a new life. SEVEN years ago Clint and I got married!¬†We were so in love that we didn’t care too much about the details of our wedding day. Case in point: why March 2nd? Because we had to be in the country a full 48 hours before we could get married. Why Jamaica? Isn’t that what everyone wants to do in the middle of a Michigan winter? What was I thinking? I am the luckiest girl in the world. What were my plans for the future? Take pictures, eat cake, change into bikini, lounge on beach with some sort of Rum infused-pineapple attacked drink in my hand and only take breaks to…well lets just not go there. My MOM READS THIS BLOG! Thinking back, I could have thought a little farther into the future, but would I have imagined that we would have 2 amazing kids and moved across the country by now? Or that after seeing that everyone in Jamaica had goats, I would still want to raise goats?! Nope. But we were in Jamaica, “No worries, Mon.” No time for planning when you have nothing to do but enjoy each other in paradise.

And so today, I am speechless again. 7 years. Wow. I CAN BELIEVE IT! I really can! We have been through a lot already. Clint is the funniest, sexiest(sorry mom), hardest working, most amazing man, and I am so lucky that he puts up with me! ¬†I can’t imagine where we will be in another 7 years, but I know we will make it there. I already have the rocking chairs picked out.¬†I love you honey pie!