I figured out how to upload photos from my phone and wanted to post some from our recent adventures. I don't want to forget our first year here! Here's what we've been up to, in no order whatsoever:
This is our amazing Centennial Trail, a very long and well-paved bike path that runs through a couple (or more?) states. It links up right outside my parents' house here, about 1 1/2 miles from our house. Caiden rides it to the Kroc, our community center, for Squid Squad practice a few times a week. We can ride it all the way to downtown and the city beach!
It's so pretty here. I love living in the mountains!
This is at one of many, many beaches close by. Sarah Grace has discovered sand, and she's pretty happy just digging while her siblings swim.
This is another lake, one of my very favorite spots here. This little swimming hole is completely dry until the rains in May and June, and it's the only spot in this particular lake that ever gets warm enough to swim in without a wetsuit. That's hard for my brain to get around, after 20 years in the south! But the lake itself is over 1100 feet deep, the 5th deepest in the US, and as it's also situated only an hour south of Canada, that explains why it stays so cold!
My adorable nephew. He and Addie are the same age, so he and she and Grayson are good buddies!
My bookends, snuggling on the couch.
The Ironman is held here each June, and Pace was a volunteer for it. We rode our bikes down to the race headquarters to pick up his volunteer packet the day before the triathlon and were blown away by the athletes! It was incredible to watch it.
This is my girls with our new friends' girls. A couple from another region in Texas heard about our church plant, came up in July to check it all out, and after much prayer, decided to join us! Their older daughter is named Adi and is my Addie's age, and they hit it off! They move here next weekend, and we are all so excited to have them be here! My car was FULL of kids the entire week they were here, and it was loud and hilarious and so fun!!
My beautiful sister, Leslie, with "our" newest baby, Hallie! Hallie was born the end of May, and I've already told Sarah Grace that this is her best friend. She's starting to get baby rolls, and we all adore her.
At the 4th of July parade--it was seriously like being transported to the 1950s. Small town Americana at its finest. Our friends from Texas were here, as well as my parents, and our total group staked our seats for 21 at the parade! This is a typical expression of Sarah Grace, who has turned out to be a WILD CHILD.
Caiden has fallen in love with swimming. I've fallen in love with having a middle schooler, especially his adorable dimples and the fact that he's only an inch or so shorter than I am. I think I'm going to like having sons taller than me!
Another lake! My parents found this one, and we took my mom last week before she and Dad left to head back to Texas for the fall. This lake was actually relatively warm, a nice change from most of the others here. Swimming surrounded by mountains and pine forests makes me HAPPY!
Summer here has been incredible. Lakes, fishing (the boys, not me), reading great books, visiting with the neighbors until late, making s'mores at my sister's firepit. We've had huckleberry milkshakes and watched fireworks with our neighborhood, ridden bikes by the river to breakfast, swam a ton, and hardly sweated! (This thrills me, because I am a grumpy hot person.) It's hard to believe all this beauty will be covered by snow in just a few months, but this city gets around 70" snow each year, so we're soaking up our outside weather as long as possible! Summer is flying by too fast, and I intend to make the next 3 1/2 weeks count!