A few weeks ago, we went to LA to spend Thanksgiving with my family. While we were there, we celebrated Asher’s first birthday.
Happy Birthday our little Wild Thing!
We had the best time in Portland. This city has so many fun things to do. We spent our time wandering around downtown, trying out coffee in the different coffee shops, and browsing books in Powells. We walked around Saturday Market and got some donuts at the famous Voo Doo Donuts. We made sure to stop at Multnomah Falls and check out this beautiful waterfall. We ate at some delicious food carts (The grilled cheese one is AWESOME!)And, of course, no trip would be complete without a soccer game. So, we enjoyed a crazy Portland Timbers game. It was an awesome way to celebrate FIVE years of marriage. We can’t wait to see what the next five years has to offer!
We had the great pleasure of attending Pastor and Spouse’s retreat this year with both Jon and Cathleen, and Betty and Lennie. This is the first time all three pastors have attended in a long time, and a first for the six of us. We were definitely excited to get away from our busy schedule and take some time relaxing and focusing on ourselves. The speaker was great (as expected), the food was delicious, and the fellowship was encouraging.
We also took time to play around a little. We spent our free afternoon at a really nice hot springs. This place has six different pools. The top pool is the hottest. Then, that water flows down to the next pool (the biggest) which is a little cooler, which flows into the next, and so on and so forth. Each pool is a little different and gets cooler in temperature as they go. It was very relaxing to slowly work our way down to the coolest pool. We had great conversation and fellowship while relaxing too!We also spent some time in McCall, a nice mountain resort town. We loved overlooking the beautiful lake and shopping in their cute little stores.
As I think about retreat, I can’t help but reflect on the sessions. Through the captivating stories, humorous tales, and eloquent words, Scott Daniels vividly captured the struggle of Jonah. As I reflect on this, I continually return to this question: Why are we so often missing out on God? Why am I sometimes so focused on life that I don’t see God? That I miss out on his love? Jonah’s story, and his anger for Ninevah in the fourth chapter, really forces me to examine my own life, and my own Ninevah and struggles that take over my time and focus. Jonah is so focused on his anger towards Ninevah that he misses out on Ninevah repenting to God. God is redeeming Ninevah, but Jonah can’t see that. What is God redeeming in our lives that we don’t see? What am I missing out on? These are thoughts that I know I will continue to reflect on throughout the coming months.
I am glad to have had this opportunity to worship alongside the others in our ministry team. Although it was difficult to be there without Ash (who got to stay home with our friend Brenda and her family), we were able to relax and spend sometime with our ministry team. It was a great time.
(But, it sure was nice to be back home with him!)
I am finally writing about our favorite parts of our trip to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks. Here is the first place we loved.
When researching the things I wanted to see in Yellowstone, I did what every girl in her twenties would do: I searched Pinterest for every pin even remotely related to Yellowstone. Of course, I created a board to gather all my pins and spent way more time than I’d like to admit searching and reading all the blog posts about the coolest spots and best things to do with a family in the park. Through my search, I found a lot of pictures of people swimming in hot springs in this place called the Boiling River. I knew this was one place I really wanted to explore.
The Boiling River is actually part of the Gardiner River. This river is located almost at the North Entrance of the park. Just a little past Fort Yellowstone (If you are coming from the south). There is a little parking area, which will most likely be full of tons of cars, many have to park on the other side of the road or anywhere they can find. It is pretty well packed for a hot springs in the middle of the summer. Once you park, there is a half-mile trail that you must hike to get to the pool, but it is pretty easy and well-maintained.
So, How does it work? How are you able to swim in the scalding hot water? Well, at part of the Gardiner River, the boiling hot water from the Boiling River flows into the freezing cold Gardiner River. The water mixes to create a nice hot bath area. Now, don’t be fooled. There are spots where the rushing cold water will get you, while other spots will shoot out really hot water. So, be careful. Rocks have been strategically placed to give a nice wading area. So, the fast rushing river doesn’t take you downstream. Be sure to wear water shoes (those rocks hurt) and don’t put your head underwater (there are signs everywhere telling you not to do this, even though many didn’t listen) since you could get sick from the exposure.
We enjoyed the nice warm water. Although, I think I would enjoy it more in the fall or spring, when it isn’t too hot outside. But hey, who would ever turn down a chance to swim in a hot spring in Yellowstone?
here in Yellostone | Grand Tetons
Here are the rest of the highlights from the trip.
We were on Allure of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean Ship.
We stopped in three ports: Bahamas, St. Thomas (St. John), and St. Maarten.
I did not get a picture of everyone with my camera, we did get pictures taken on the ship. Hopefully I can show those pictures at a later time. It was a blast. I loved having all our family there to enjoy this time together. We have the greatest Grandma in the world!
Here are the first batch of pictures from our cruise to the Caribbean.
I loved watching the water crash against the side of the ship and the path that the ship left in its tracks.
He loved the balcony and hanging out with Grammy and Papa in their stateroom.Our huge cruise ship waiting in St. Thomas. On our crazy boat ride to St. John’s island. Trunk Bay, the ocean we swam in, is named one of the three top beaches in the world. And you could see why. Ash was able to get his passport stamped at his first national park: US Virgin Islands. Someone had their first swim in the ocean . . . and only the best beaches for this little guy. Someone got to ride the carousel for the first time on the cruise ship.and he loved playing around with all our family . . . especially since he was the center of attention.
First ride on an airplane.
First visit to Grammie and Papa’s
First view of the ocean,
trip to the beach,
and most importantly . . . his first Christmas!