Small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.


Snow Play in the Mountains

We've been living in Washington for four months now. During that time, we've enjoyed a spectacular summer of long days, perfect nights, and great weather. There's no denying that we picked the perfect time to move to Washington state. This summer completely charmed us and I love it here. Now, we begin to prepare for the other side of the coin with short, cloudy, and rainy days not far on the horizon. I'm a little worried about how bad it will actually be this winter and everyone has different opinions. It comes down to the fact that we are just going to have to experience it ourselves. The upside of wet weather down at sea level is snow on the mountains. We were lucky enough to live in California last year during an El Nino year when the Sierra Nevada's received a good amount of snow. We took a long winter weekend in Yosemite and another in Tahoe and they really just reaffirmed to us how we needed more snowy mountains in our life. After the Northwest Mega Storm 2016 (i.e. nothing storm), we could see the mountains were snow capped. So this weekend, we decided to check it out.

We picked out a hike just outside of North Cascades National Park that would allow us to take Kaiser as well. We knew Landon would love the opportunity to play in the snow but we knew Kaiser would love it even more. As we drove to our destination, we passed by Diablo Lake and stopped for a minute just to see it again.

Our first time in the North Cascades, we had only made it this far so the rest of the drive was uncharted territory for us. We got to our hiking place and realized the snow was at least two feet deep and we just weren't prepared for 4.5 miles in that amount of snow. Instead, we drove over a little bit further down the road to Washington Pass and decided to just let the boys play for a bit.

The snow was pretty deep and, as expected, they had a ball. Kaiser hopped out of the car and immediately started rolling around and eating snow. Landon was all about making snowballs.

We found a big meadow and made our way into untouched snow. Needless to say, it was pretty deep.

It was a beautiful spot though and we had it all to ourselves. 

We all had quite a time trying to walk around in it. Poor Landon and Kaiser kept falling waist deep into the snow. One step and an entire leg would sink in. Often times, Landon would end up just rolling around in it.

We tried to make our way out into the meadow, but it was just too deep and too soft. Poor Kaiser may have gotten in over his head at that point. I took this little video just at the perfect time.

Once back in the manageable area, Kaiser just continued to roll around and eat snow. Even though he got stuck, he was happy as could be.

They also found a ramp of sorts going down into the meadow and continued to run up and down jumping in the snow when they got to the bottom.


Despite our lack of enthusiasm, Adam and I were just as excited to see so much white stuff. Two happy Washingtonians right here.

And the children just continued running up down the hill with sheer delight.

Of course, they didn't care, but the setting was absolutely stunning. We were surrounded by stunning mountain peaks, tall pines, and beautiful blue skies. There was a time that I thought you had to go Europe to see places as beautiful as this. Now, the American Alps are right in our own backyard.

We started to take a walk to an overlook but realized Landon's jeans were soaking wet and he'd probably become miserable as we walked. Needless to say, the boy got a pair of snow pants on Sunday. Despite not being able to hike at all, it was still a great time.

We got back to the car, changed Landon's clothes, and ate some lunch just sitting on the side of the road.

Sounds kind of boring and it would be except this was our view out of our car window. Needless to say, I could have sat there all day.

And just on the other side of the road was a mountain of rocks towering way above us.

Adam took some pictures because we can't go somewhere and not get a few pictures.

There's a few more HERE on his photo page. Then it was back on the road for the three-hour drive home. Six hours in the car for just a little bit of fun in snow may not sound like a worthwhile trip, but it was. And it doesn't hurt that a few hours of the drive included stunning views like cascading waterfalls from the tops of mountains all the way into valleys.

As I said earlier, Sunday we went looking for some snow gear. We checked out a local sporting goods store with new and used gear. They had a great selection of kids stuff and we walked out in the morning with some much-needed snow pants for Landon as well as a pair of snowshoes. After getting home and doing some research on adult snowshoes, we went back just before closing for a pair for me. Now all that's left is for Adam to find himself a good pair and we will back in the mountains and ready for some snowy hikes. These are our first pair of snowshoes and we are pretty excited to get back out and have some more fun this winter.


Two Pumpkin Patches- Old Home vs. New Home

We were lucky enough to be able to make a visit back to Kentucky the first week of October and one of my must-do's every time we return is to pay a visit to Huber's Winery. Usually we just go to the winery for the day, but with Fall in full swing we decided to make it a family outing and go to the pumpkin patch as well. We love picking pumpkins and since we couldn't take them home with us, we made a trip to Bob's Corn in Washington once we got back home to get some pumpkins for house. It just so happens that Kentuckiana was experiencing a real heat wave this year that seemed likely to never end and it also just happens that we visited Bob's Corn the day after the much-hyped "Stormageddon 2016" (which turned out to be pretty uneventful).I couldn't help but keep contrasting the two trips the entire time. I'd say the visit to Bob's corn, just 25 minutes from our house in Snohomish, WA, was our first true Pacific Northwest experience. So here's a bit of a side by side comparison of our two trips, two weeks, 2,300 miles, 30 degrees, and several inches of rain apart.

The first and most obvious difference, was the weather. In Kentucky, it was a warm 80 degrees with lots of bright sunshine vs. Washington where it was a cool 50 degrees and raining!

The pumpkin field at Huber's was so inviting vs. a true experience fit for a kid.

Did I mention bright sunny field vs. a wee bit of mud?

Landon's first round pumpkin picking vs. his second round.

Family selfie in two weeks ago vs. a partial family selfie this weekend.

Adam's two picks, an original vs. bring the wheel barrel.


After picking, we had a cool down compliments of the world's best flavored ice cream vs. a warm sugar and spice mix of apple and pumpkin donuts. 

Landon having fun with his favorite person in the world, just getting to hang out together and being silly vs. having fun with his favorite Daddy on the apple shooter.

My comparable favorites were a wine tasting with my Dad vs. the most amazing honey crisp apples you've ever seen drenched in hot caramel.


Being silly on the farms in the sun vs. under the clouds.

I hope those pictures help to explain what a completely different experience we had doing the exact same activity two weeks apart. Both were fun in different ways and did have a few slight differences. Two weeks ago, we got to go to the pumpkin patch with family which was truly the best part. We really miss our family and getting to do things with people when we visit makes for great memories that we cherish forever.

And like I said, at our first outing Landon got to hang out with his favorite person in the whole world- his big cousin Taylor. Nothing beats that.

And the truth is, some of our favorite memories at Huber's have included Taylor way before Landon came into this world. In 2008, when Taylor wasn't even 2 years old we took him and died of laughter as he attempted to climb over pumpkin after pumpkin. Now when I see him in the pumpkin fields it brings back those same great memories even if he just a little bit taller.

And because this post is all about comparison how about another great year, 2010 with Taylor vs. this year.

Despite not having our family with us in Washington, we still had a great time picking pumpkins as a family of three. Landon got to wear his new raincoat, play in mud, jump in puddles and the best part, we will actually get to carve these pumpkins.

We even got to experience something completely new, washing your pumpkins! This is a much needed part of the pumpkin picking process in these parts. 


Of course, you don't actually have to get muddy to get pumpkins. Bob's corn has plenty of pre-picked pumpkins and gourds as well as a fake small patch up near the barn. 

Like Huber's they have a number of activities for kids, including a crazy 10 acre corn maze complete with fire pits. You can see just how insane it is HERE. We decided to skip the maze and a few other activities this year, but Landon (and daddy) had a blast with the apple shooter.

Even though this is the end of the season for Bob's corn, they have plenty of fresh...CORN and it is AMAZING!!! We had been all ready in September to get some corn and we've been dying to go back since for some more. Adam also picked up some chipotle cherry bbq sauce which he loves, because also like Huber's they have a great general store with all types of homemade goodies. They even have fresh honey from their fields which you can jar yourself. Can't wait to get some when we run out of our current stock.

Pumpkin picking is a yearly past-time, but this is the first year we've had such an experience doing it. Being with family at Huber's earlier this month was wonderful and getting a real taste of the Pacific Northwest this weekend was pretty fun. The goals were the same, the environment couldn't have been more different, and yet we all went home happy with full bellies, lots of pumpkins, and stories to share. Can't wait till next year!