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After our first night in Redding, we spent the second night in Portland with dinner at Cartlandia. The next morning we drove through the Columbia River Gorge, a windy two lane highway by which you pass waterfall after waterfall. The first one we stopped at, Wahkeena Falls, had a short .2 walk up closer to the falls. It was just gorgeous, and super cold! I loved it! Below is some rare proof that Andy and I were on this trip together. The next waterfall, Multnomah Falls was so breathtaking

The week after our good friend's wedding, Andy and I made an escape to Seattle, celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary and his 30th birthday. We made plenty of stop along the way which helped to break up the 20 hour drive. The timing of this trip was jammed into the couple weeks between weddings and right in the middle of huge work projects, but Andy turned 30 and we had to celebrate. We actually left on the day of his birthday and made it to Redding in 10 hours, finishing the day with dinner at a Kobe teppanayaki grill. So so good! If you've been following me on Instagram, you've seen the food posts and the weather posts and the posts of all the little babes but since we've been back many have asked what my favorite thing was. I would have to say my favorite part was just getting away with just my husband in tow. We haven't taken a trip with just the two of us since our second wedding anniversary cruise! Not only was it just the two of us, but it was to a place that we both just come alive. The cooler weather is just invigorating. Andy and I

So now that my major bridesmaid duties have past and our anniversary hotluck is over, I am ready to start looking forward to October and the wonderful adventure that Andy and I will be taking come Ocotber 15 (my hubby's 30th birthday!!!). Which leads to, what should we do and what should we see in Seattle, Washington? Heck, what about the way up there and back from sunny So Cal? But before I get these amazing trip ideas, let me tell you we did a whirlwind of a trip there and back in 2008. Seattle 2008 We started the day off right with a ferry trip in

Just last night Andy and I got back from a week spent in South Dakota on his grandparents' ranch. It is literally in the middle of nowhere. One hour to the nearest town=gas, groceries, shopping for the necessities of any kind. I just went through the 700 photos I took on the ranch and chose a few that truly sum up our time there and the feeling you get there, there's a sense of peace when there's no Internet, no neighbors, no distractions of any kind. It was pretty hot there, of course not even as hot as home is in Southern California right now, so we stayed indoors most the day unless we went in to town which is why many of these are taken at sunset. Truly the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen, starting with the first one during our flight on a little prop plane from Wyoming to Pierre, South Dakota. The Lyons' have had many horses throughout their time here but right now they just have two, Shadow and Sell. I loved seeing them silhouetted against the sunset on our second night there. Well here's one that wasn't even taken on the ranch and not even

What a whirlwind of a weekend! Just last night we got back from Camp Nelson in the Sequoia National Forest. We were celebrating our dear friend Brittany's upcoming nuptials with our dear mommies. Every fall, our moms go up to Camp Nelson for an official Girls Weekend. No kids, just the moms. But to celebrate the bride, our moms treated us to a first class weekend away. They pampered us in every way and cooked the most amazing food! Brittany was given special gifts, like the world's most amazing fairy garden terrarium filled with miniature memories from all of us. And of course, the fairy that lives at the cabin continuously left us gifts, waiting on the doorstep of her little tree cottage—gifts like bridesmaids pins, fairy tattoos, and bubbles. Seriously this weekend was amazing. Our moms are just so amazing and it was just the start of celebrating my very special friend Brittany! These next three months are just going to be so much fun! Here are just a handful of photos along with an extra special montage video of Brittany's Fairy Weekend! Remember Eli's birthday video, this was also created with iMovie. And was pretty much complete before leaving the

Three weeks until driving empty country dirt roads. Three weeks until riding horses along side my hubby. Three weeks until sunsets at 10 at night. Three weeks until Grandma Lyons' home cooked meals.* Three weeks until catching fireflies under the moonlit sky. Three weeks until I hide from the turkeys that come to roost in the giant front yard trees. Three weeks until we float down the Niobrara, God's home made lazy river. Three weeks until we stand under Smith Falls, fully immersed by the giant waterfall. Three weeks until we get to enjoy the ranch with some kiddos and cousins by our sides! Three weeks until we finally get to see Andy's grandparents again after these last two years! *Grandma Lyon's home cooked meals: Breakfast, dinner, and supper full of wonderful country foods covered in gravy. Yummy. I am just so excited for our trip coming up! I wish it was tomorrow though rather than these next three long weeks! P.S. You can see my post about our last trip in 2010, here.

Oh how I love Colorado! We went there twice last summer, once for my family reunion/cousin's wedding and then later in August for a BBQ competition. But we haven't been there winter for five years. Unlike previous years, there wasn't that much snow. If Summit County always got that much snow, I could actually live in the mountains. But since Dillon got 4 inches of snow just the night after we left, it just won't work, so we settle for visits

On Monday night, we got home from a quick 4 day trip to Utah. 2 days there, 2 days driving. My hubby's cousin Brook just had her third little babe, a boy, Levi, and we were driving out with his parents to meet the little guy. The trip was filled with food, family, and fun. My very favorite things! I am warning all you, if you don't like pictures of babies or little kiddos, this post may not be for you. But if you love little kiddos, like I do, then you'll love this post because that is all I did for 2 days is take pictures of Brook's little ones. And once you see how adorable all three of them are, you'll understand why! We were staying at Andy's aunt's house who lives about an hour south of Salt Lake City, at the entrance to a very awesome nature filled canyon. She made so many yummy meals for us, mostly all made from her very large (the size of a small home) garden. Their property also gets visits from the local deer family too. Saturday, we drove up to Salt Lake to see Brook and Jason and the kids. We played

This past weekend, I found myself up in the Rockies of Colorado for a second time this summer, but this time it was for a BBQ competition with Rooftop Barbeque. On our "day off" the team went up to Breckenridge to enjoy the sights, after stopping at Sapphire Point for a gorgeous view of Lake Dillon. We had no idea what to do up in Breckenridge as none of us had been there before. But luckily we found a free gondola to take us up to the ski resort. This gondola whisked us away above the highway, through the trees, and up into the fog and misty rain. Once we got up to the resort, we still weren't sure what to do but us "kids" decided to go on the alpine slide while the "adults" took the chair lift up even further to see the sights. Minutes after our trip down the slide, they shut it down, expecting the storm hit. Us Californians were still moseying about, thinking it'll just rain a bit, nothing too big of a deal. But within minutes we were soaked through, stuck on the top of the mountain, waiting for a bus to come pick us up as

Thanks for joining me yet again on a short tour of Southern California! View part one of Day 1 and 2 if you missed it! Day 3 Ahhhh, Beach Day. Amie and Joyce would get together once a week, before Joyce moved, to go to the beach. A different beach each week as well, a sort of tour of So Cal beaches, in a way. But this time I got to join them! A day designated just to relax with little to no schedule to follow? Sounds perfect! Of course, I still managed to make a schedule. I just can't help myself! We started the day (after Coffee Bean, my favorite) by heading down to the Rainbow Sandals outlet store in San Clemente. Can you believe I have never had a pair of Rainbows before? It's like I haven't lived here my whole life or something! After we made our purchases we drove north along the coast headed to Laguna Beach. Andy once took me to the beach below the Montage and I have gone back there for every beach trip since as it is a relatively peaceful beach, not too many kiddos and not too many people in general. After the ocean wading,