Lake Minnewanka – Our First Outing with Izze

These photos are from our first real outing as a family of four after Izze was born. We wanted to get some fresh air in the mountains so we headed out to one of our favorite places in Banff, Lake Minnewanka. It’s not a long walk from where you park to the lake, so it’s great for letting a toddler roam and get out their wiggles. Plus, once you’re down to the lake there are endless amounts of rocks to be thrown in the water. Eli was in heaven! It was nice to see him so cheerful and in his element after such a huge change with a new baby in the house. He looked so cute in his little backpack he had just gotten for his second birthday. I think he wanted to pack all the rocks home in it. 
Izze stayed fast asleep wrapped to mama and I enjoyed those delicious newborn baby snuggles while we roamed the lake side with Eli. We took to the trail and did a very minimal amount of hiking because snack time waits for no man. We had some snacks and made our way back to the car because Eli was getting tired and Izze was starting to wake. I nursed Izze in the car and we pulled double diaper changing duty out of the back of the Subaru. It was the perfect mini adventure for our first outing with two kids. I think Dan and I may have joked about having survived it as we drove home, but really looking back I can’t remember feeling stressed about it. I’m so thankful for this sweet little family that are all mine. 
Wrap: Solly Baby – Giveaway HERE!

Banff Trips | Vermillion Lakes

We have been making frequent trips out to Banff recently because that’s where Dan ended out getting his knee surgery done. I don’t even mind the hour and a half drive out for a follow up appointment because we get to have a fun family outing in the outdoors as a bonus! This trip we scoped out Vermillion Lakes, which as you can see is absolutely gorgeous. There are great views of Mt. Rundle and lots of mountain air to fill the soul. 

Alaska (Part II)

Starting things off with our second dose of photos, with Matanuska Glacier. It’s the largest glacier in Alaska that can be accessed by vehicle, and it’s a total sight to be seen! My sister’s boyfriend had never walked on a glacier before, so we were on a mission to change that. Mission accomplished! 
Eli had never walked on a glacier yet either, so I let him on a flat part at the start of the ice to test it out. He hated it and wanted me to carry him the rest of the way (he NEVER wants this) then wanted to be let down in general. So, my glacier exploration was limited this trip. We enjoyed our lunch with a view, and lots and lots of picking up rocks. 
^he’s such the mini geologist here, holding up his rock for inspection. I just love it!
Next up, a few photos from our trip to the zoo.  We spent the time with Dan’s sister and her gaggle of kiddos. Eli got to ride in a red wagon and run around with his cousins. We miss family oh so much!
^he says oooooooo to all the animals. so. dang. cute!
^new wolf pups 
And last but not least a mandatory hike up Mt. Baldy, a staple hike for my hometown. 

Josh and I took turns with Eli in the hiking pack, but it was mostly Josh. Plus, he took him down the steep part when Eli was in meltdown mode, so basically it was a hero move! This is also when we discovered Jason Mraz will put Eli to sleep in basically any situation. 
That’s the end for this trip. I’ll have to hold off my homesickness with our freezer full of fresh caught salmon. 😉 Until next time Alaska!

Alaska (Part I)

This month we went home to Alaska to visit family, and it turns out it was just what we needed. Before we left, something happened to us as a family, and it was one of those things that knocks the wind out of you and you feel like you just can’t get up. I was gasping for air, and then we got to Alaska, our real home, and my family was there, and the cool mountain air was there, and I could finally breathe again. 
We did a family camping trip down on the Kenai Peninsula which never disappoints in the scenery department. We made tinfoils dinners and roasted s’mores. We laughed for hours with friends and family by the fire. We kayaked on Kenai Lake and skipped rocks on the shore. 
Watching Eli run around on the beach in these rain boots was such a treat. He was enthralled by all the new things around him! Back at our campsite he was surprisingly great at walking on all the trails in the woods, stepping over tree branches and mossy mounds. I was so impressed! He was also so thrown off by the light at midnight and was not so much going to bed when we were camping. I’m sure all my family loved that… There’s something about the tent that gets him all hyped up.

We had long drives with beautiful scenery and a sleeping baby. It gave us time to talk, and we always circle back to wanting to live here again. I don’t know what the future has in store for us, but we sure hope living in Alaska again is on the list.

** Don’t forget today is the last day to enter the Little Sapling Toys giveaway!

On Raising a Mini Explorer

leggings: Alpine Baby Co.

Kids are natural explorers. Always curious and very determined, eager to experience and learn. I feel like my job is to help and nurture Eli to become the little explorer he was meant to be.

This can be easier said than done in parenting. It’s a big bad world out there and don’t you just want to put them in a protective bubble, or at least a helmet sometimes? But the other part of me wants him to experience it all. Every little bit. 
This means that sometimes he’s going to trip and fall, and scrape his hands. This means sometimes he’s going to bask in the dirt and get mud in every nook and cranny.  It means extra baths and extra loads of laundry. Sometimes it means I relax and let him pick every dandelion in our yard that’s gone to seed as he tries to eat all the tops off. It means slowing down on our walks or runs so he can brush his hands on the bushes as we go by. It means daring to take him on long hikes and trips. It means he gets to carry around all the rocks and pinecones he wants.
It also means, I get to watch his eyes widen with excitement when he sees something new! It means I get to hear his joyful screams as he runs around outside! It means I get to show him all the cool places he’s already gone someday. And it means he gets to decide all the cool places and things he wants to do someday. It means I will get so much extra joy out of this ride called motherhood!
All these joys far outweigh any other thoughts I could possibly have. So we continue on satiating curiosity, slowing down, getting messy, and EXPLORING!

Victoria’s Day at Grassi Lakes

We celebrated our first Victoria’s Day here in Canada with a trip to Grassi Lakes. We hiked out with some friends, ate a nice simple lunch by the water, talked about Geology, and enjoyed our first hike of the Summer season. We gave Eli his first real maiden voyage in the hiking pack and he was a huge fan. We can’t wait to hit more trails!
^the water color was unreal!
^mini geologist in training
^Eli’s face! I just laugh
^We had some rain sprinkles but nothing bad
Sorry Eli missed out on the family photo op, guess we will have to get used to turning to the side or something haha. After the hiking naturally I wanted some donuts, so he hailed to the closest Tim Hortons (how Canadian of us) and the line was insane, and I abandoned by donut dreams. But that’s ok because that night we had a taco party… I wish I had photos but that food was inhaled, it was so good! So there we have it, a Victoria’s Day wrap up. 

Elbow Falls

It’s no secret we love being outdoors. This was a quick trip one weekend to Elbow Falls on a day that was otherwise filled with to do’s and tasks. We took a break for a quick two hour jaunt to refresh and breath in some fresh air. Boy is that always worth it. The crisp air on our faces, Eli’s diaper butt sticking out of his pants as he took in the view from Dan’s shoulders. It was the best!
Apparently the falls used to fall much more (that sounds weird) but anyway they’ve changed since the flood here last year. I still think it’s a total beauty!
^still getting those legs used to walking on snow