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Hikes with Kids // Admiralty Point and Burns Point // Belcarra Regional Park

 Lukka loves getting inside trees, ever since he was little!
This past weekend we got a rare dry November Saturday so we quickly chose a hiking trail we'd never done (Admiralty Point) in a place we love (Belcarra Regional Park) for an easy trail that did not disappoint! This trail is rated as easy and starts off in a public parking area near picnic tables and a decent bathroom. The trail is marked well and rated well, though others who've reviewed it have said otherwise, so check before you go.  a rare 'just us' photo
We hike at a quick pace, and I am often the slowest one. What I lack in swiftness I make up for in eagerness, since I am the one always dragging the family out on weekend hikes. The kids, however, must have had just enough time off from our last hike because they were practically running and jumping the entire trail, and I didn't hear nearly any complaint (until later) from my resident 'hater'.
beautiful view from Admiralty Point
This is a great…
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October titles // 2017

cozy morning painting, fort building, and podcasts 
Oh, October. My favorite month of the year (minus the months I'm traveling, let's be real here) because the weather is cooler, and school + fun activities have coalesced into routine and the world outside is beautiful.  It's a great time to enjoy the outdoors when it's nice, and to cozy up with a book in comfy clothes when it's not-which is exactly what I did. Here's what I read in October:
*Whatever Happened to Justice? by Richard Mayburry - This is another Uncle Eric book I picked up at my local homeschool library and I really am quite fond of these. I am learning so much. I was very studious through my school career but do not remember learning almost any of this history/economics/philosophy so I'm really clamping onto it now. It's changing the way I see government, freedoms, and what's happening locally and that is always a good thing. If I continue to find these books, I will continue to read …

September Titles // 2017

not my built-in bookshelves...I wish!

This month was back-to-school and not terribly hard to fit in reading, surprisingly, just hard to get into the flow of reading. I was very distracted this month, and although felt I had a decent amount of margin, once your brain is worked up with go, go, go, it's hard to get into the quiet mindset of sitting down for an hour to immerse yourself without falling asleep! That happened to me on more than one occasion. 
This month I read a few quick little books, and the new Brene Brown title (!) I'd been waiting months for. Here's the list:
* Firstborn by Tosca Lee - Tosca Lee is an author from my hometown of Lincoln, NE, and I've loved her past biblical/historical fiction books that focus on a specific person in the bible. This is the second part of a purely historical fictional series set in present day Europe. It's fast-paced with high drama, but it's a fun little read. It's about the legacy of Elizabeth Bathory and the …

VASHON ISLAND // 2017

a lavender cart using the honor system
 My friend Susie and I tooled around a new-to-us place, Vashon Island in Puget Sound, this past weekend for a very quick (but very full!) girls' trip. Susie comes stateside once a year and I'm lucky to live close to her husband's family, so I often get a visit, too, though she's usually with her family in Nebraska. We had both heard about Vashon Island but had never been, and found really cheap accommodations through airbnb.com.

I read this article and this one in preparation and rented a car, while she communicated with our hostess. It worked out brilliantly. We headed down to the Faunterloy ferry in West Seattle and got there around noon, and although we had a bit of a wait going out, the price was so cheap! Something like $20 for the two of us and our car roundtrip. We had reservations at The Hardware Store for dinner that night and very little expectations for the rest of the time.

Lighthouse on Point Robinson 
I don't know…

August Titles // 2017

an ambitious stack, I admit
In August I got back to my books, after a whirlwind July where I finished very few books. Even though three doesn't seem like a lot, I'm just chapters away from finishing two others. I also read quite a few magazines this month, so appearances here can be deceiving. I felt like I got a lot of good reading time in this month, which is great since the start of the school year (next week!) is always a bit unpredictable with free time. Will I be able to read during the afternoons, or will I be drooling on the couch taking a 30 minute nap because my brain is wiped and my emotions are near-feral? None can say. Here's August's reads!
*The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas - This YA novel was one I had seen over and over again, and so on my family's weekend in Portland I was lucky enough to have plenty of hours in the car to read and read this in just over 3 days. The story is about a girl named Starr and deals with a death of a loved one (not a spoil…

July Titles // 2017

*Lab Girl by Hope Jahren - I'd heard about this book nearly a year ago from a magazine and I pinned it for later. For whatever reason, I was thinking about it a few months ago and put it on hold at the library. This book is quite slow the first half, but once it picks it up, it's fast! I hate that this book took me nearly 3 weeks to finish--that's like a lifetime to me re: books, but sometimes that's just the truth. I was on vacation the first week of the month (i.e. no reading-too much friend time!) and then it took me every bit of those two weeks. It's about a female scientist who studies plants; it's her memoir. She prefaces each 'relational' chapter (about herself) with a 2 page interlude that somehow relates to what's coming, only it's about plants, and those were my favorite bits of the whole book. The way she writes about plants is just breathtaking. It's easy to tell she truly loves her job and the questions that she hopes to find a…

17 in 2017 // Seattle Renegade Craft Fair

Ani and I sharing some paletas outside after the heat set in
One of my 17 in 2017 items was heading to Seattle for the summer Renegade Craft Fair, a huge handmade show that I've been wanting to go to for more than five years since I first heard about it online. It did not disappoint! It was in an area of Seattle I hadn't been to yet, and a really pretty area right by the water that the boys could drop us off and then enjoy with the dog. This was, really, an entire day devoted to driving and taking me where I wanted to go just because, and I am thankful I got to do it, even though we were all really tired by the end of the day.

There was only one area (shown below) where all the vendors set up, and a few food trucks outside. I was surprised at how seemingly small it was since most of the vendors I talked to were not local. The term 'craft fair' is almost a bit too colloquial for this show, as every single vendor produced high-end, beautiful and trendy items, with very r…