10.18.2014

Final Retreat




The weekend before school started and our summer of non-stop fun and travel came to an end we decided to cruise up to Rocky Mountain National Park for one last camping haul. The weather on the way up made us second guess ourselves a few times, but luckily it cleared just as we hit our campsite. 

  

We had friends join us so the kids really ate it up. RMNP is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. It never gets old to me. Whenever we are up there my heart just sings. The landscape is absolutely incredible with it's wide valleys, craggy peaks, clear blue lakes, alpine tundra, and diverse wildlife. 

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Since we had a lot of kids with us we decided to keep our day trips simple. We hiked around lake Irene then hit up Adam's Falls to start off.



Lake Irene is small and quaint. It's reflections are always perfect.

Adam's Falls is basically a big waterpark for the kids. The hike up is short and just above the falls there is a calm area where the kids can hop from rock-to-rock and play pretty safely. 



I was in love with these little "ants on a log."


Along the roads in the park you can always bet on seeing some elk. So, we were a little surprised  when we came across a moose and the Rowberry's also saw a bear from their car, but still hadn't seen many elk. 

At the very top of the tundra we finally saw a herd right off the road. Just chillin. 


Just before heading home we stopped and climbed up the stairs at the Alpine Visitors Center to 12,000 feet and took in the views. 

Kids have a way of knowing just how to make their parents squirm at high altitudes as they are  hanging over little barriers. 


Ranger Rosie reminds you to "STAY OFF THE TUNDRA!"

Two days later my big girls went to school and broke my heart.




9.16.2014

"Out in the heart of the golden west, home means Nevada to me."

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After our Lake Tahoe Reunion, Easy hit the road for work and left me and the littles for a full week in Fallon, NV at my parents house. I have only been back home a couple of times for my grandfather's funerals in the past couple of years. It was so nice to be there with my girls and stay for an extended amount of time without any real obligations. 

I actually loved it. My kids didn't want to leave. I didn't want to leave.

We rode 4 wheelers down the same trails on the river that my brother's and I used to haunt as kids.

With each of my girls holding tight to my waist we blasted down the dirt road alongside my brother Darren and his kids. We stirred up the cotton flying though the air from the trees and as the kids squealed I got a little choked up. I thought to myself,

 This was my childhood! If I could bottle it up it would smell just like this!!

The musty river, the Russian Olive trees, and the faint stench I f exhaust and dust in the air.

Darren was impressed that I still knew how to ride. I guess there are some things that you never forget.


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 Sharing my favorite spot on the river with my girls was just as romantic as it sounds. I loved that they are at a point where they appreciate it and ask questions and are able to experience and remember it all as I do while picking cattails and floating their fuzz through the air.

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My girls and my mom playing cards and waiting for dinner to cook over the fire pit. 

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The fun didn't stop there. When we planned the trip to Fallon, Eric said (half joking) to me, "Make sure you get the girls on a horse." 

I mentioned it to my mom who called my uncle and the next thing we know we are saddled up. The girls were so brave. I was especially impressed with Miss Ava who kept her calm when Patches got spooked on her then also kept cool when Berry decided to take a little dunk with her and I in the river. 

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He literally just decided to lay on down with us in that nice cool water. Lol. After that my uncle took Ava and had me keep Berry in line. 

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Darren had a couple new litters of pups from Labradors of Silver Sage that he let us come over and get our puppy fix from. It was pretty sweet seeing my girls, his kids, and my brother Matt's kids all with a puppy in their arms. Heaven!!

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Finally, before heading put of town I got to meet up with some of my dear friends at my favorite pizza place in all time. Seriously a pleasure! 

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When I was finally able to pull the girls away we headed back to UT for a couple days with Easy's parents then headed home. I feel like lazy extended trips to Fallon will be more of a priority in our future. 

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My parents are so good to their grandkids and I love nothing more then to see them building relationships together. 

Thanks Mom and Dad! We will be back soon. :)


9.10.2014

The Road to Tahoe


When you live in Colorado the road to Lake Tahoe is a long one.

It has plenty of pit stops so that you and your 4 children can keep sane.

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The first of which, for us, was in Logan UT where my brother Matt and his sweet family live.

This is 8 hours into the drive.

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We enjoyed beautiful weather, swimming, late nights, and of course Aggie Ice Cream. 

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We then spent a few days in Lehi with my brother Jeremy's kids. It was supposed to be with Jeremy and his wife Lindy too, but rather unexpectedly when I arrived their youngest was feeling pretty poorly. After I had a little look at him it was decided that he needed to go to the doctor asap as he had every single one of the signs for DKA. The pediatrician sent them right over to Primary Children's where suspicions were confirmed and he was diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus. 

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For the next few days I looked after the other children and we were able to visit their parents and brother at the hospital. I was so grateful to be there! Living far away has not given me the opportunity to help and serve my family members in the way that I have always wished I could. It was such a relief for myself and them that I was there.

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Before hitting the road again I got to see my cousin John and his wife Shelly just as they pulled their moving truck into town. GM was pleased as can be to snuggle baby Archie, the kids devoured some Waffle Love and we got to catch up quite a bit. 

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On our way out of UT we grabbed Easy at the airport and headed out across the desert and salt flats to Nevada.

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Where we were eventually greeted by the beautiful and majestic Lake Tahoe!

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My brother Jeff had arranged condo's for us to stay in for 4 day allowing all my Lewis siblings and parents to gather and reunite with each other. It was perfect. 

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We got to the beach early and rented SUPs and a Paddleboat. We swam, dug in the sand for hours, had inversion contests and just relaxed. That evening we played Minute to Win it and surprisingly not one person was injured (we can be quite physical and competitive). 

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On Sunday we attended church then hiked and played ping pong and pool in the game room through the evening. 

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These cousins sure love each other! 

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Much of the group headed out Monday morning but a few of us stayed for a little swimming and crawdad catching at Sand Harbor. 


They literally spent all day on those rocks. 

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And Rosie came up with her new perfect pose that she has been doing variations of ever since.

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It is not often that we all get together like this. Actually I really can't remember the last time that we all were.

I loved every minute of it.



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