Cabin in Ashford

Darrick and I have been daydreaming about owning a cabin someday, and thanks to AirBNB, we can test out the experience. We spent the weekend in Ashford, WA, in a cabin right on the Banks of Copper Creek and The Nisqually River.

It was pretty stormy all weekend, but we were able to take a walk along the river on Saturday, and our friends’ oldest kiddo got to cross the river (or maybe the creek?) on fallen trees with her dad — what an adventurer! She was very proud of herself … and the other kids were a mix of jealous and afraid. πŸ™‚

We were deliciously lazy the rest of the time, watching movies, sitting in the hot tub, playing games. The kids stayed up late and got hot chocolate for breakfast. The parents also stayed up late and got wine and scotch (not for breakfast).

It was incredibly restorative. We also found a nice plot of land that looked like it could use it’s own little cabin …

Someday. πŸ™‚

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You know it’s gonna be good when even the drive out is breathtaking!


Audrey’s amazing adventure!


Of course we got some workouts in ….
Log tosses over the shoulder
Overhead squats …
And single-arm overhead squats πŸ™‚


Trying out the weakest airsoft gun ever made


Never-ending entertainment with these crazies!
Where will be your favorite memory???

Naches Peak Loop, Part Dos

THIS IS MY FAVORITE TRAIL EVER! Seriously. Darrick is still debating whether it’s this or Snow Lake, but for me it’s this one, hands down. The reason is because at every point on the trail, you have an incredible, breathtaking view. Darrick likes some forest cover, but I’m all about staring into the expansiveness that is our incredible earth!

So anyways, we did this one last summer, too, and Olivia walked about a third of it. Throughout the year we always referenced this trail as the “one she was training for!” Just felt fun to have a goal. πŸ˜‰ Of course she was perfectly fine — it’s 3.2 miles and nothing about it is very challenging. Awesome for the kiddos! (The hardest part is probably the 2 hour drive, especially since we don’t let her use technology because we’re the best parents in the world …. JUST kidding LOL. It was iPad games on the way in and out-like-a-light on the way out.)

The Naches Peak Loop Trail begins at Tipsoo Lake, which is beautiful. (I think many folks come just to walk around the lake and picnic!) Both times we’ve hiked the loop clockwise so we can stare at Mt. Rainier for as long as possible. At the beginning, you cross over a road, which confused us the first time for some reason. Then there’s another beautiful lake/pond about a third of the way in. A fun spot to play and snack if you’re with little ones! At the halfway point (ish), you’ll get an incredible view of Dewey Lake. (It’s on our list to spend the night by the lake next year when the backpacking season begins!)

And for the FIRST TIME EVER, we saw a bear! I was definitely a little scared … but it was really, really cool, too. He clearly wanted nothing to do with us. πŸ™‚

Oh, and next time instead of picnicking, I think we’ll plan on hitting up the Naches Tavern on the way home. It looks adorbs!

In summary, I (obviously) recommend this trail!!



Naches Peak Loop

Naches Peak Loop begins at Mt. Rainier National Park, which is nearly 2 hours from Seattle. We don’t mind a little driving and this drive was really beautiful.


It’s also a crowded spot on the weekends, but the trail is long enough that you’re in solitude most of the time.

One shocking fun fact: This was Darrick’s FIRST TIME EVER to Mt. Rainier!! Don’t tell him I told you. πŸ˜‰

This was only my second time after living here for a decade, so I’m not much better. I had previously climbed up to Camp MuirΒ with a friend, which was a pretty snowy hike, so I was hoping for wildflowers on this visit. We didn’t get the big explosion of flowers, but the views were so breathtaking I barely noticed. At one point, I turned the corner and just started crying it was so beautiful. It’s fun to talk to Olivia about how God made all these beautiful things, and she kept saying from my back, “Look at the views, mom!

She also walked about a mile and a half on this one… oh, and she pooped for the first time in the woods! So, dress or no dress, we have an adventurer. πŸ™‚

First of all, the night before, Olivia had an impromptu sleepover with our besties, so we all had a Paleo waffle FEAST for breakfast on Sunday morning. We are so SO thankful for these beautiful friends of ours.



At the trailhead, before you even begin hiking, is Lake Tipsoo, which is gorgeous and fun, and a destination in and of itself! Olivia spent 15 minutes chasing a butterfly before we moved on.



Right as we started our hike, we touched freezing cold mountain water and played in snow!



The rest of the hike was just stunning, every view better than the last. We ended with a picnic back at the lake/parking lot before heading home. The weather couldn’t have been better and we had the most perfect day.