Deception Dos

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Well we didn’t quite get ourpicFrame (7) crabbing fix that we went back for more.  This time with close friends the Schiels, who you may remember from this post last year.  This year was particularly poignant as it mark little Mr’s first camping trip.  It was a fantastic trip, even with the crab not being quiet as gullible as before we still made a decent haul.  But more importantly is the enjoyment of the WP_20140717_006 (2)company and the amazing ocean views.  Watching My Mr. suggest crazy log flopping to the boys and dousing us all with water in the process!  There is something so enriching here as you glide out on the water in our lovely orange canoe.  And of course a quickfotor_WP_20140717_002 pop into town for a little milkshake tradition, so lucky to get 2 of these in a short period.  The evenings spent around the fire talking, singing and yes eating!  Lovely memories that I look forward to every year.  Back to our mansion tent that Kirie referred to as the Harry Potter tent, WP_20140718_002to snuggle with little Mr and feed him by my head lamps red light, so it didn’t hurt his eyes.  I really love that shot of him and me a wonderful memory.  He was such a wonderful little camper, he seemed to be content just looking up at the tall lodge pole pines and staring in amazement at the fire!  He’s going to be a good camper just like Dad!  Before we knew it the 3 days were over and we headed home.  A bitter sweet moment as always for me.  I look forward to next year and the new memories.

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First Crabbing of the Season


IMG_5496We are lucky in the past few months to get to share some of our favorite places and experiences with our family.  This location and activity being one of My Mr. and mine favorites.  We headed North to Deception pass for the first time this year to enjoy and harvest the wonderful crab bounty.  We bought my GREENHORN parents along for the experience.  My DadIMG_5488 being an avid eater of crab wanted in on the action of our local
Dungeness crabbing.  And we all had a ball, setting out early to set pots.  The time was low and perfect!  We then quickly set to trying our hand at a new species of clam, much harder to find than the razor clams that have a specific season here in Washington.  But by the end and with all his digging, even with the picFrame (8)little Mr. on his back until I couldn’t handle his being jostled about anymore.  My Mr. became pretty proficient at finding them though through all his trial and error.  Then we enjoyed the local scenery and headed in to enjoy the traditional milk shake in Anacortes, yummy.  Then we headed back to check the bounty.  Dad going to the first 3 pots, and Mom to the final 3.  Finding a total of 7 crabs not bad for a quick soak.  Then home again, home again. to eat and sleep.  What a day on the Sea!

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First Flight 


Pic_c2350eb9-71f7-4c09-8228-aa0d622dabce_jpgWith a vacation on the horizon and family to see in Utah we hit to skies for our little Mr’s first flight!  We made it through the madness of security, and believe me with a baby and a dog we took a little while to pack all our stuff on the X-ray scanner.  I could see the people behind us look and our line and the other 2 and quickly move to one of those.  Luckily the line was minimal and we weren’t inconveniencing anyone.  The security people were really nice and didn’t even mind our little 3 ring circus, commenting on how cute our little boy was and our puppy.  We made it to the gate in plenty of time and boarded the plane.  Being the crazy plannerfotor_(4) (1) I am I researched all the mommy blog posts I could in regards to flying with infants and I felt prepared for the worst.  But the flight was practically empty and Little Mr’s car seat got it’s own position next to the window.  We took off to the screams of another baby seated further towards the back.  I felt so bad for them and the little one, it must we scary.  Little Mr. on the other hand sat happily on my lap gumming a toy then within 20 minutes he was out of the count and happily sleeping in his car seat.  We prepared for landing and gave him a couple of ounces of his bottle to help with the pressure in his ears (a mommy blog recommendation).  He slept through the landing, unloading, and baggage claim.  Only waking up on the ride to Grandma’s house.  So even with all my preparations our little Mr rocked his first flight!  Now we can fly with our family like a couple of PRO’s!

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Tulip Festival Year 2


With My parent in town picFrame (2)and the weather perfect for spring we bundled up and headed north to enjoy the visual color explosions that only the Skagit Tulip festival and give!
I think they had even a few new varieties of tulips that I just fell in love with.  Someday I want at least a whole flower bed full of tulips.  My parents were in complete awe of all the varieties and
they have even been to Holland to see the fields in bloom there.  So it was nice that our little slice of Deutschland here was giving us the WP_20140423_163same enjoyment as over seas.  After a couple hours of tulip after tulip my father said he was OVERLOADED and sat down to people watch on a bench nestled in the tulip display garden.  We finished up with MY Mr. helping me to get the perfect shot by holding my bag to keep me balanced.  Then all of a sudden I realized I was becoming the spectacle with people taking photos of us.  I was embarrassed and hurried up my shots.  But regardless of that it was A totally colorful day!

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Coasting Through


This weekend went by in a blur!  And without detailing out every second of our truly incredible weekend I will say how grateful I am.  In this season ofIMG_3063_Fotor_Collage2 thanks I had so many moments that made me truly reflect on my blessings.  Between safety in travels, meeting inspiring people, reconnecting with family, experiencing the amazing unending love of sweet children, and so much more I can hardly believe that all this happened in one weekend.  It all seems to indescribable.
We ended it with a quick trip to the coast.  The feelings I experienced here returned!  Compiled by the fact that we had our family/dear friends came with us.  We really IMG_3063_Fotor_Collagemarveled at the amazing site.  The fog that draped everything diffused the light so perfectly that we could stand and watch the last minutes of the suns light disappear behind the clouded horizon.  The kids laughed and ran, dug and well. . . . . . got totally covered in sand, as all kids should when they go to the beach.  It was the perfect way to end our weekend, to see the miraculous wonders our Heavenly Father created.  I was left feeling renewed and with confidence that if he could create all this, then I know he has a plan for me.  A Wonderful weekend to say the least!!


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Chick Trip

IMG_3880My dear Friend Jessica and I have sent our guys out on many a Man-cation over the years.  Letting them wilderness it up to their hearts content.  So as the first wives of the Man-cation men we thought it was high time for a “Chick Trip!”IMG_3797_Fotor_Collage  We invited friends and decided to keep things a little close to home for our first outing!  And what better place to go than my new home of Seattle Washington.  Tickets were bought, plans were tentatively made (as we learned we don’t plan down to the minute like the boys), and we counted down the days!  I was happy to take a bit of a break and allow Jess to take the lead on the photo documenting, thank you Jess!!  Obviously someone had to take some of Jess, so I shot a bit to, with a few of my scenic’s in-between!  So with all the background behind us let’s get to the details!

Every one arrived on an incredibly sunny Seattle day, it was one of the warmest days of the year and perfect for our Seattle sight seeing day.  We of course headed IMG_3810_Fotor_Collage3to Pike’s market for a little perusing!  We stopped for a little morning nosh at a fun little crumpet shop where Jess educated us on English crumpet etiquette well actually she said they aren’t exactly like English crumpets but close enough for us all to enjoy.  We each tried each other’s and fueled ourselves for the fun to come.  We headed back to the Pikes sign for a photo and then on to the shopping!  Taking in all the market merchants one by one with all their homemadeIMG_3868_Fotor_Collage2 wares.  We perused almost every vendor of every kind.  Making a quick stop at the gum wall to leave a little bit of the gals gum on the I’m a Mormon card nicely attached to the wall already! (Thanks Lindsay for showing the handy work!)  Then in was off the highest point in the city and the icon of Seattle, The Space Needle.


We took a ride to the top, with a sweet old couple that kindly asked us if we would be able to help them if the gentlemen got to scared.  It was so sweet.  The viewIMG_1755_Fotor_Collage10 from the top was amazing!  The Puget Sound on one side and the city on the other!  It was an amazing site!  Finally our time of Seattle seeing was drawing to a close and we headed back to camp to get ready for our crabbing trip.

Guemes Island played host to our next day, with an early dawn placing of pots.  The bay was filled with boats and early morning fog a coastal cloudy day.  Then it was back to our green yurt, for some IMG_3941_Fotor_Collage6breakfast and chit chat while the pots soaked, luring in our nights dinner!  The girls became fascinated by the slugs that perched outside.  Taking photos which I didn’t really get, those little buggers have been eating my cucumber plants all summer!  But to each there own I guess.  We returned to our pots ready to check our bounty!  Thankfully Lindsay was the Crab goddess and got the ball rolling while Jess screamed from the back with each crawling crab!  She was so funny, in the end she too was a pro and grabbing the crab from the pot.  (see the video of their pot-scapades here)  Lindsay manned the pot pulling with all herIMG_4053_Fotor_Collage7 strength and I can tell you that the sun star we pulled out was one heavy beast!!  Andrea got her crabbing on and was the one victim of the crabs claw, holding onIMG_3937_Fotor_Collage12 long enough to get a photo then flicking the crab clean off and into the water.  Special thanks to My Mr. who acted as our crabbing captain and pro showing us the ropes and teaching me some sea kayaking skills!  Then it was a trip back to house to prepare our feast!!  We ate and ate IMG_4108until we hurt, Lindsay and Me the most, stuffing ourselves to the girls!  (hah hah a sea joke!  I don’t think crab have gills though, anyway)

The final day started with edifying our spirits at the Seattle Temple.  Then off toIMG_4131 lunch at Din (here) and then a little souvenir shopping for all their kiddos!  Yes the Washington store carries chocolate slugs (clarification; not real slugs) which you know they had to get after their fascination with them.  We ended with a sunset trip to Alki to watch the sun set over the water and fill our cups a little fuller.

It was an incredibly uplifting and strengthening experience, sharing our lives and our struggles with other wonderful women to seek for light and happiness in their life.  I was inspired by each of them and I am forever grateful for the friendships IMG_4244_Fotor_Collage11made and strengthened by just a few fleeting days.  They will never know what it meant to me to have them here and the strength they have given and taught me to have.  Thank you gals for an indescribable experience, all the little moment between, the quiet chats and fits of laughter gave me more than you will know!  Can’t wait till next year!! 

(A few of the funny moments that stood out; gals share if I have forgotten some; “Is that an Oboe?”  Pocket Chaps, “My Brush with death” “Did you move the poop?” “Oh My Vile” “He’s just out back sharpening his axe!”)


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Man-Cation Pt 2; Alaska Edition

So you might remember My Mr.s “pre Man-cation” earlier this year (here).  That is the typical man-cation with the occasional elongated backpacking trip at the beginning or end.  My Mr’s Man-cantion compadre Ben has had a massive crush on Alaska for a year, My Mr. said it escalated to a full blown obsession after he and his fantastic wife took a trip there last year.   So it was pretty much a given that Ben was going to do whatever it took to get back there.  My Mr. coyly asked what would I think if He and Ben did a trip there together this summer and without hesitation I told him; “Go it’s an experience of a life time!”  So they planned, and planned, and planned and . . . well to get the idea, these guys like to plan.  Now I turn it over to My Mr, an abridged version as the original write up was way too long to post. 


Day 1 – Arrival in AK

I purposefully got a window seat on the flight up so I could see what this place was all about.  Majestic is the best word I can think of.  Seattle has rivers, ocean, and forests.  Utah and Colorado have mountains.  Alaska has it all but in Texas-sized portions.  Giant mountains that reach ritght to the edge of the sea, giant glaciers that look like massive riversIMG_37032_Fotor_Collage frozen in time, the place is just amazing.  Jack London had good reason for staying as long as he did.  It truly is the last frontier even still!

Day 2 – Jim’s Creek and Montana Creek

After off-roading a bit we found the spot on the beach at Jim’s creek where all the other cars were.  We fished there for a few hours, but didn’t have any bites.  The closest I got was I actually felt a salmon smack into my leg as it was swimming upstream!  We saw a huge eagle and the vistas were just unbelievable.  Not a bad place to be even if the fish aren’t biting.

In one very large hole I hooked into a pretty nice rainbow trout, it was a beauty and gave a really good fight pulling it in.  While we couldn’t target the kings, and didn’t see a lot of rainbow action, just watching those huge salmon swim in the river was an awesome sight to see.

 Pretty soon most of the river was empty except for us and a few diehards.  We fished until 8PMand finally decided we’d better head back.

WP_20130729_0101_Fotor_CollageDay 3 – Kenai

We drove down the Turnagain arm towards the Kenai peninsula.  Some of the most gorgeous scenery I’ve ever seen.  Huge mountains pushing straight into the sea, and the giant deadly glacial delta.  All of these glacial rivers drain out to the sea in the turn again arm.  When the tide is out, the sand stretches for miles, but you’re not supposed to walk on it.  The glacial silt goes thousands of miles down, if you walk out you’ll sink, get stuck, and the tide will come back in.

Day 4 – Kenai & Trout Fishing

We got up early and got down to the dock just in time to meet our guide.  He was a bit of a character, and once we started joking he joked right along with us, giving Ben the nickname “Benni-san” and Dwanye that of “Johnny High Stick”.  The trout fishing was poor.  We each hooked a few, but nothing to write home about.  We got done with the float and decided to head to the cabin we’d be staying at.

We headed to the confluence of the Russian with the Kenai and I got my first taste of combat fishing!  The fish were definitely in more up there, and I hooked in and landed my first sockeye!  I hooked another one right after, I probably should have kept it but I decided to release it.  We finally headed home well after dark (which means about 2AM in Alaska).

Day 5 – Sunday WP_20130729_0105_Fotor_Collage

We were so exhausted that we didn’t wake up until 10:30!  We decided to try another hole on the Kenai.  It wasn’t as busy, and we hooked into quite a few, but only Dwayne was able to land one.  We headed back to the cabin and fished from the cabin in the late afternoon.  Ben and I both finally pulled in another sockeye each, and we tried our hands at fileting.

Day 6 – Halibut!

Monday morning (is it really Monday? The days were all a blur by now) we headed down to Ninilchik to go halibut fishing.  We met up at the beach and got in the boat.  At both of the beaches they don’t have a dock.  You pull up your trailer and drop it off with the boat still on it.  A big tractor comes up, hooks up to you, and drags your boat out into the water!  We got into the water and headed out in some pretty choppy seas.

 As soon as we stopped, however, Kevin started “chumming the water”.  Our captain got three lines baited and into the water, and before he could start on a fourth we had a fish on!  We never got more than five poles into the water, even though there were six of us fishing, because it was so fast!  I pulled in the biggest halibut at 69lbs! It was fast, FUN fishing, and we filled the hold and each of us limited out.  We got back to shore and had WP_20130729_0109_Fotor_Collagethe fish processed at the guide shop.  The kid doing the fileting was a bit redneck, but definitely good at what he did.  I videoed (watch it here) it because it was amazing to watch how fast he could filet a huge halibut!  We got back to the cabin and spent the rest of the night processing the ~400lbs of halibut meat that we brought back off the boat.  Awesome haul!!!

Day 7 – Kenai & Anchorage

Tuesday we packed up and cleaned up around the cabin, and stopped at the confluence on our way back to Anchorage.  I got another nice sized sockeye.  I had at least four more on, but they all got off before we could net them.  We finally packed up at the last possible minute and drove back to Anchorage.

Day 8 – Have we fished enough yet? IMG_3773_Fotor_Collage

Wednesday Ben and I headed out to get some last minute finishing in before our flights that night.  We headed down again and tried our hands at California creek.  We got the creek and the fish were shoulder to shoulder in the water.  It was hard to pull the lure across the stream and not hook into a humpy.  Fun, fast fishing.  There was a grizzly higher up on the stream from where we were that kept moving down towards us.  Finally some crazy Russian fisherman chased it off and started fishing above us.  We moved upstream and fished for a while.  I decided to cross to the other side, got halfway across the river and heard Ben yelling at me.  I turned around to see him pointing at the grizzly that was now standing right where I was before I started crossing!  It was close quarters with a juvenile bear, awesome! (watch it here)  Finally we had to head back to pack and head home.  We boxed up all our fish with dry ice, packed our bags, headed to the airport, and said goodbye to an awesome adventure in America’s last frontier!

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Deception’s Light

IMG_1158With summer drawing to an end we try to cram every last little adventure we can in!  So we made a quick overnight trip with some amazing friends tocrab Deception Pass for a crabbing trip!  As you may know I have a bit of a thing for crab so I had no problem with the purpose of this trip my biggest concern was would we catch enough?  That worry was soon dispelled when I arrived to hear that 13 had already been caught and the crab pots were still out luring more in.  We quickly got to the eating!  I can’t tell you now much I ate I just kept cracking and eating, my tummy monitor was totally shut off and my boating outtaste buds were under control, a dangerous switch.  Eventually My Mr and our host Ron reminded me that we needed to go out and check the pots before dusk.  I looked up at them hands coated in crab, mouth still chew and firmly engaged in ripping the innards our of a leg.  I must have looked like a lion hovering over her prey.  They kindly pulled me away from the crab with the promise that here would be more!  We headed down to the dock, the guysIMG_1269 unloaded the boat and we hopped in.  I was taken aback by the beauty of the early sunset.  We came to the first buoy and My Mr pulled the hefty pod up.  We few meager crab where there, only 1 or 2 keepers.  We loved on catching a glimpse of a seal trolling the surface then disappearing below.  The next pot was plentiful and the crabs grabbed to the pod potsunrelentingly.  We tried and tried to get them loose while protecting our hands from there claws and sharp pointed legs, they can be a little mean for some reason!  My Mr emptied the pots after several successful scuffles!  I on the other hand was caught up in the sunset and the light across the water.  My life is inspired by light both in a spiritual and physical sense.  I couldn’t help but think of the scripture “light cleaveth light” (D&C 88:40) as I looked out over the water.  As the darkness fringes on the edges of our lives the light is magnified.  And so it is in my life.  IMG_1368-1

We returned to the dock with a full heavy bucket of crab and I watched IMG_1419as the sun continued to create the most amazing colors in the sky, wanting to capture every last second.  I was again reminded that unless we wanted to spend the night on the dock we needed to head back to camp.  Back at camp a fun group waited for some yummy cobbler and conversation.  Sam gently played his violin and the music echoed through trees.  WeIMG_1475 star gazed on the dock of the Cranberry lake, and then headed back to camp for bed.  I was sad to go to sleep realizing that this quick day trip would be over in a few short hours.  It was an amazing trip and one that we have to repeat again and again!

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Island Camping


We went to Whidbey Island this past WP_20130607_003weekend for a quick camping trip.  The summer’s calendar is already filling and our opportunities to go camping are a little more complicated with all the pre-scheduled events.  So we made time for a quick trip and invited our good friends the Vemparala’s to join us, and of course Nut Nut joined Image (33)us too.   We loaded the car and headed out, at one point as we waited for the ferry and let Pax out of his crate, I was surrounded by both dogs.  For some reason I was the dog comforter on the ride there.  After making it to the campground we made camp with our 10-man tent, which I refuse to believe is a 10 man.  I mean it was perfect for the 4 of us and left plenty of common room for us to share with 2 dogs!  Started the fire to get the coals going for our traditional tin foil dinners.  Ramya of course made fantastic Indian spiced potatoes and carrotsIMG_9641 (which were a little spicy for me (but I’m a spice wimp) they were still so tasty even with a little burn afterward!  While dinner cooked we headed down to the beach, which was a 5 min hike down a trail right across from our campsite.  There was this long staircase leading to the beach and gave a beautiful view of the sunset!  We walked along the beach for a bit checking out spots for the next days fishing.  Eventually I reminded the guys that dinner might be burning and we headed back.  Image (34)Dinner was great, as always, and the company was even better!  Then we nestled into the tent for a game of settlers, which at some point I became unconscious for.  Morning came with Nut Nut needing to use the restroom so we were up and at em!  The Vemparala’s shared some yummy Indian oatmeal and sausage, which was really good and warm on that chilly morning.  Then the guys dressed and headed to the beach.  My Mr.Image (37) demoed his new wading boots, which you can read the review of on his and Mr. Carneys fishing review site here, which is pretty awesome!  (and My Mr’s photographer isn’t bad too)  We headed down to the beach with dogs in tow and wired them up to some huge drift wood so they could roam the area and dig in the sand to their hearts Image (35)content.  A quick fly-fishing lesson on the beach and Sushant was ready to hit the water!  He looked like a real fisherman out there.  Ramya and I relaxed in some chairs on the beach, just watching and talking.  It was so beautiful and the sky was slightly clouded which really set off the water.  It was so peaceful and perfect!  The dogs were completely worn out from allIMG_9866 the sniffing and digging, Nut Nut was lying on the cool sand while our prissy Pax refused to lay in the sand and stuck to my un occupied chair.  Eventually the time came and we 970236_10200633333134737_356588558_nknew reality was calling.  We headed back and packed up, Nut Nut even took a turn watching Pax by holding tightly to his leash while we loaded the car, cute huh!  Hard to say Goodbye to a perfect day!  It was a great little trip and fun to share with our friends!  We will have to go back for longer next time.


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First Flight


With our travels to Utah being very long and arduous, I mean 14 hours in photo(32)one day is a little much for anyone.  Our issue however was the little fuzz ball that is an essential piece of our family, is also required in Utah by parents and nieces and nephews.  So his attendance in our time in Utah is a must.  We finally bit the bullet and took him to the pet store and tried every airline dog carrier known to man.  After the long and difficult sizing process (dogs don’t like being closed in random things go figure) found one that fit the pup comfortably and set the date for a quick trip and his maiden voyage.  We trained him to go inside with basic commands and then worked on zipping it up and caring him.  He seemed to handle this with ease.  The day of the flight, we checked him in with us, walked him through security, then he trotted down to our gate dog on his leash.  We sat down at the terminal and waited to board, the pup was so well behaved sitting quietly and looking around.  Whenphoto(30) boarding time came we pointed to his bag, zipped it up and off we went!  We placed him under our seat and soon realized that he needed to be able to see us, so we unzipped the top flap, out popped his head and the rest of the time was cake.  Though his nervous jitters would start during take off and landing eventually they would stop and he would relax into sleep.  The flight there and back was a breeze and the easiest part of our trip!  Now we can fly with the pup, 2 hours is a lot better than 14!

For those interested in dog flights, Southwest only requires that you let them know your dog will be flying with you as a carry on.  They don’t require any other paper work.  Some airlines require paperwork from your vet to fly with your dog.  Check with your airline of choice for details, but we were happy with the way Pax was treated on Southwest.

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The ocean in Washington literally calls to me.  Every time I go back I think, “Why has it been so long.”  It is so peaceful and vast, I can’t believe I just used the word vast.  It’s true though.  We took a little side trip to an olympic beach area and got some lovely shots of the cloud filled skies and rock strewn beaches.  Huge beached Logs, My Mr happily demonstrates their size.  I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of the beaches here, they’re not your Hawaiian beaches for soaking up the sun, though you can. . . . I guess.  I think their beauty is on a totally different level.  With a rain storm just blowing over and the sun shining through the clouds, I love sensory experiences where you can just feel your surroundings with every part of you.  I want to go to the beach while it is raining, I would like to see that.  Yes an odd request but I think these beaches would have a spectacular view during a rainstorm, possibly a little dangerous . . . . hmm going to have to think through that.

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Quake Lake

While on the Road we came to a lake that looked like is swallowed a mouthful of toothpicks.  We slowed down to take in the scenic look of this crazy lake.  Known as Quake Lake, (Earthquake Lake) it was created by an earthquake in the 1950’s, you can read about it here.  I couldn’t believe the contrast of the smooth lake with all these protruding dead trees.  It was a awesome view, we took it in and said goodbye to the mountains and headed out to the open plains.  Such a contrast, I love road trips!

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