the snowy mountains

Can you believe this pretty little spot is only three hours from where we live? 

I had been itching to get another camping trip in this summer after our Montana adventure over the fourth of July. We had a really great time earlier this summer with a larger family group up in Montana and I wanted to try and go as our little family. We had about half of the gear we needed (tents, chairs, sleeping bags). But because we had always camped with a larger group that had campers and RVs, we have never had to bring food and cooking gear with us. Thankfully Chris spent a bunch of time researching and got us a cooler and stove and pots and pans and all the other little things you need to eat in the outdoors.

I bought a couple explorer kits for the kids that had various fun things to do in them. The biggest hit was a bug catching device with a little bug carrier. Chloe and Elinor had a blast running around catching various flies and bees. You can purchase one HERE if you are interested.

We went on one hike while we were up there since we only spent two nights up there. The hike started at Lake Marie and then looped up near Long Lake. It was rated as moderate, but it was totally doable for us. I think I was huffing and puffing the most with the baby on my back and the 10,000' atmosphere to breath from.

Hiking was awesome. It was so beautiful up there and even though there were lots of mosquitoes, we still had a really great time. Also both of those girls up there were super hikers.

The camping part was a little rougher. Truth be told I was ready to go home on Saturday afternoon. It was hot and Greta was super whiny and cranky. There was zero relaxation happening when all you want to do while you are camping is relax around a campfire or in your tent. Chris and I both think that next year, when she is two, will be a much better age for camping. Sleeping was also difficult because it was hot when she went to sleep at 7pm but then got progressively colder, which meant I had to continually wake her up to put on another layer of clothing or adjust her in her sleeping bag.

All in all, it was a good trip. We just learned a few things, namely don't camp with a 1-year-old if you want to relax at all.

summer storms

These photos were from back in June! Thought it was about time to share. :) 

Doesn't this picture look so peaceful?

Could you imagine that sweet little baby in that backpack screamed hysterically in her car seat for an hour before we got to the trailhead? (clenched teeth emoji)

As my husband put it, the hiking was really nice, the drive up was kind of miserable.

The moody and cloudy photos we took at the lake were definitely indicative of a storm rolling in. Ever the optimist, I was promising everyone that there was no way it could rain on us, prevailing wind direction and all that. Well, I am totally discredited as a weather forecaster because it proceeded to rain and storm on us the entire way down the trail. We made some really good time!

Hope you all have a good Wednesday!

happy birthday Greta Jo

Happy Birthday to our Greta Jo! The past year has flown by (but the moments were long at the same time?).

We celebrated your birthday with gifts and time playing outside because it's your favorite place to be. Dinner was a big plate of spaghetti which you only ate the hamburger out of.

I'm so excited to see you grow up and start running after your sisters.

Love your sunny little personality!

the beartooth mountains

It's the middle of July and just last weekend we were up in Montana celebrating the Fourth of July. I swear this summer is going by so fast even though I am consciously trying to enjoy every minute of it. I think that because we had such a cool start to the summer that I am not sick of it yet like I normally am at this time. We only just hit the 90s here in Colorado and (gasp) I am actually loving the hot days and warm nights. 

But anyway, I wanted to share a few pictures from our annual family camping trip. Last year we didn't make it up there because Greta was only a couple of weeks away from arriving! There are more pictures HERE  (2017) and HERE (2016) from our past camping trips.

So this year was our first as a family of five!

I am always a little nervous about doing something we haven't done before. In truth, I was more worried about the 10 hour drive to get there and back than I was about sleeping in a tent in bear country. Greta is not the best car rider, but I don't think any baby enjoys sitting in a car seat for hours...

We did make it though. There was a lot of snacks and noise canceling headphones involved.

We spent a day or so visiting family and packing up for camping and then headed up the Beartooth Highway to our campsite. We spent two nights and three days at the campsite. Our family was in a tent, but there were also two camp trailers in our party. Chris's aunt and uncle had one spot and his mom, stepdad, and little brother (plus girlfriend) had the other. If you are going to camp in a tent, it's a lot easier if you are with other people who have a trailer. The food storage and heating situation is much easier.

Also, they have more room to bring things like scooters. :)

We did a bit of hiking and lot of hanging out. Also, the baby did a great job of getting thoroughly covered in dirt. 

We went on one hike that ended up being much snowier than we had bargained for. In years past, the trail had been clear of snow by this time in July. The mountains had an unusually high snowpack so the melting process wasn't complete yet. We ended up having two mishaps on our short hike. Both Chloe and Elinor had grabbed a long stick to use as a hiking stick for extra balance on the slippery snow. Unfortunately, as they both slipped around a lot, they ended up poking themselves the face with their sticks. They both survived their hiking wounds and have a good alternative tale that involves a bear. 

All in all it was a success. I am even trying to convince Chris to plan another camping trip this summer before school starts up again. We need quite a few things in order to do it all on our own. Since everyone else had a camper, we didn't have to make our meals. This time around we'll have to plan out our meals and bring stoves and food supplies. I am up for it, but we'll see if we make it up to the mountains again.