Monday, July 25, 2016

June, July...

I completely lost track of weeks, schedules, and activities the moment we closed on our house.  Ever since then, it's been one big sea of boxes and more boxes, followed by packing paper and endless problems over where to store things in our smaller, new house.  This is not the first time in my life when I've wished I didn't love my ancestors so much.  But I do.  I cherish their books, their records, photographs - both on my side and Greg's.  In some instances, love can be measured - and believe me, I know the weight of it, because I can total the size in boxes.  I'm starting to wonder what's going to happen to these things when I'm gone.  I hope my children care a little.

But back to the past few weeks -

We tried to take lots of breaks from unpacking.  We have moved into a spectacular ward.  My children have already found a network of close friends within biking distance of our house.  I love this.  I have been praying for this.  But this also becomes a burden when I'm trying to get things accomplished and the only thing my children want to know is when can "so and so" come over to play?  

The windows of heaven are open right now.  

#1 - 4th of July

We went with the Horton family to see the 4th of July parade in Melba.  Both Greg and I have never been there and I think the population is around 400 people.  It was delightful!  Very small-town, home-style floats with lots of candy and zero advertisements.  We had a BBQ at our house afterwards and watched the Meridian fireworks from a very dusty parking lot at Roaring Springs Waterpark - a little bit of a let-down.  We're going to watch the Boise ones next year. 

Free Range Children
#2 - Greenbelt

The Greenbelt and my road bike did not get off to a great start. There were multiple mornings of flat tires, unpaved sections of road in the middle of nowhere, and then the final straw - I got a horrible bite while riding that made my inner right thigh swell and change color (I wear biking shorts - tight biking shorts.  How in the world did an insect get in there??).

I finally found success when I left the Greenbelt behind and took off onto country roads.  THAT was fabulous!  And I think that's where I'll stay.  We'll keep the Greenbelt for family rides on regular bikes, fishing and evening walks.   


#3 - Greg Turned 40

It was not easy coming up with something worthy of Greg's 40th birthday in the middle of a move.  Even though dinner with just the two of us would have sufficed, I really wanted to do something significant.

I found The Springs outside Idaho City on our way home from a hike and I managed to keep it a secret.  It's a spa area with large hot spring pools - beautiful scenery everywhere!  I picked up Greg from work around 5:00ish with bags of Jersey Mike's, sodas and chocolate chip cookies.  It takes about 40 minutes from Boise.  But I could have driven for days with just Greg and me sans children - peaceful talk, smiles and contentment. 

He loved the place!  I loved the place.  A fantastic birthday evening all around.         

Greg is undoubtedly the most attractive 40yr old man I've ever known.

#4 - Lavender Festival

I've never picked lavender or cooked with lavender or done anything with any type of lavender in my life.  This was a delightful learning experience in a very pretty setting.  

The farm had a dozen tents set up with everything from lavender sweet rolls to lavender plants that you could take home and start on your own.  I bought both.  And my kids were wild about the lavender lemonade.  But the funniest part was watching a few young girls in their 20s frolic through the lavender bushes in spring dresses while taking selfies.  The romanticized approach they were going for was so far from reality it made me laugh out loud.  

My kitchen smelled exotic for days!  I finally wrapped up the stems in rope and hung them upside down in my laundry room (hello, Jane Austin!!).  Pretty Girl and I will make sachets together when the petals dry.  

#5 - Big Guy at Scout Camp

His camp was at McCall.  MCCALL!!  Green with envy.  I've never been more tempted to pack my mountain bike and go surprise my son at camp. 

The campsite was called Bigfoot.  His troop's location was at the top (elevation) spot and subsequently, Our Big Guy spent many hours walking up and down hills to the activities and back to his campsite.  His days included lots of canoeing, swimming, eating, running, wilderness survival (he build a lean-to and slept under it for 3 nights!!), basketry (he brought home two very cool looking baskets), music, campfires, and preparedness - he especially ace'd the last one.

#5 - Everything Else In Between

Shakira wrote the theme song for the recent movie, Zootopia.  The lyrics have almost become our family motto lately as we try to immerse ourselves in our new home.  It helps combat the homesickness and the change.

I won't give up, no I won't give in
Till I reach the end, then I'll start again
No, I won't leave.  I wanna try everything.  
I wanna try even though I could fail.   

Our backyard path - walking home from swimming

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

"We Will Find Hope in the Impossible"

A most unworthy post for this blog.  But...

I'm indulging my inner-geek.  (my obsession with Rogue One is coming this fall)  And then there's the fact that I've been biking to this Beastie Boys gem since I first saw this preview during the opening of Star Wars, The Force Awakens.

Excellent taste Mr. Abrams. 

So ready for this.

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Island Home

Here's our house story - 

Last spring while I stayed back in Draper, frantically selling the house, wrapping up kids in school and finishing my work, Greg was busy scouting out a new home in Boise. 

I'd flown up a few times to check out areas with him and by May we had a fairly good idea where we wanted to buy - definitely where we did NOT want to buy.  We loved the Warm Springs District in Boise with their classic homes and geothermal heating (very reminiscent of the Avenues in downtown SLC).  We also were keen on the new developments nestled against the mountain.  But there was one attraction that won us over completely.

The Boise Greenbelt.

The Greenbelt is a paved pathway that runs parallel to the entire Boise River.  It's incredible.  The moment we saw the setting and the access, we knew we had to find a house where the Greenbelt would be within walking distance.  

The downside of homes in Boise is the size and acreage.  We couldn't find anything that would fit us - and forget a decent yard.  There's nothing there.  We spent a weekend looking in Meridian, Star, Nampa, Caldwell - but all of those were too far from the Greenbelt.  Finally, we checked Eagle and that's when we found it.  

The Boise River splits in half for about 10 miles in Eagle, creating an organic island.  And Greg found our house in the middle.

It's a smaller home - both in square footage and acreage.  And I'm not going to lie - we're in a massive struggle to downsize.  Houses here don't have basements.  But there's a small pathway right outside our back-yard fence that takes you past a lake, over a little bridge and straight to the HOA pool, tennis courts and playgrounds - all in 5 minutes.  If you keep walking on the same little path, you hit the banks of the Boise River and the Greenbelt in another 10 minutes.  

Fist pump in the air!

It's heaven!  It's beautiful!  Every day we're fishing.  Every day we're mountain biking.  If I can just get Bubbs off the stupid training wheels, life will be darn near perfect.  

Thursday, July 14, 2016

McCall, Idaho

Every time we mentioned our Idaho relocation to friends and neighbors, the town of McCall usually came up.  So we knew we had to go.  It's located about 100 miles from our driveway, and the first Saturday we had free, we took off. 

I fell in love.  Completely.  Hopelessly.  In love.

Osprey Point

There's so much hiking up there.  The rest of our lives would not be enough to cover the potential.  So we started with Louis Lake.  And within 20 minutes of hiking, we got lost.  First time ever for the McKinnon family.  It took us about an hour to back track and finally reach the upper levels of the lake.  Bubbs and Pretty Girl were not happy - but it was worth it in the end.  I think this is the prettiest lake I've ever hiked to.  

Unfortunately, the unwanted detour curtailed our plans to hike Boulder Lake afterwards (next trip).

One of my happy moments of every hike - the preparation of camel backs.  Everyone has
specific preferences on food and you can taste the excitement in the air.

Hard to tell, but Greg is dancing to the music on his phone.

The town itself is scenic, clear and breathtaking.  And the harbor area was coincidentally designed by my very talented Carver cousin - Mandi Carver Roberts.  I could spend days here.  We're already looking into reserving a cabin with cousins for next summer.

It got even better when we hiked through Ponderosa State Park.  Our oldest was drooling over the potential mountain bike trails.  I didn't want to ever leave Osprey Point.  And everyone else loved the beaches.  Again, the air smelled majestic!  

We got dinner at a pizza place called the Toll Station and watched the sunset along the boardwalk.  This was truly a fabulous day!  I'm heading back with the kids as soon as possible.